5 Things You Need To Know To Catch More Swordfish

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Every angler that has tackled a swordfish knows how addictive it can be. Targeting these nocturnal giants during the day, when they can be found in waters deeper than 2,000 feet, is a challenge. Not to mention you never know whether it is a small broadbill or a 500-pounder on the line. Either way, it’s worth it. We’ve been watching Captain Scott Walker and Captain Steve Rodger from Into The Blue for a while now, and put together some tips from these professionals to help you better your techniques, and hopefully land more swordfish.


1. Make Sure You Have The Best Rig

You will want to use the deep drop rig, designed to get a bait down to the bottom of the ocean while trolling it slowly. The guys at Into The Blue shop at West Marine for all of the best gear. West Marine is a one-stop-shop where you will find the perfect rods, reels, line, leaders, weight, lights, swivel, and shock leader for your rig.

The last thing you want is to drop a bait 1600 feet just to have it ripped off the hook at the first swipe of the bill.  Check out these Into the Blue videos to catch Captain Scott Walker’s techniques for rigging swordfish bait. His meticulous methods and attention to detail are a huge part of his success. Watch his process of preparing bait below.

2. Be Ready For A Long Day Out On The Water

Preparing for a day out on the water is essential. You can spend an entire day waiting in the hot sun for just the slightest bend in a rod. One of the most important (and often overlooked) steps of the preparation process is picking out the proper gear. What gear you choose to bring (or not bring) can make or break any fishing trip. This step can seem trivial, but will make all the difference. Not to mention you can add years to your fishing career by staying protected from the sun. The Captains at Into The blue swear by Scales gear. Scales gear is completely stain proof which is critical for all the blood and grime that comes from a good day of fishing. It’s lightweight, comfortable, keeps you dry and provides breathability and protection for a full day on the water.



3. Drop & Troll

After all 150 feet of the monofilament runs out, clip the lead stick weight to continue the drop. In the first 500 ft. of the braided line, pause for a few seconds every 100 ft. to work out any slack in the line. Make sure the boat is going at a speed slow enough to maintain a vertical line. After 500 ft. of line is out, let the bait freefall to the bottom. Then, when you feel the weight hit the bottom, reel it into the “strike zone,” (40-100 ft. off the bottom). Move the boat at a steady speed of 1.5 to 1.8 knots. While you are trolling, keep the bait in the strike zone, and it becomes a game of waiting and watching the rod tip for signs of a strike.

4. Pick A Fuel Efficient Motor

When you are taking on the daunting task of hunting Swordfish you are sometimes in for a long day on the water. For the environment, and for your wallet, you’ll want the most fuel efficient motor so you are not having to make the trek back early because you are worried about running out of fuel. Captains Scott and Steve use Mercury Marine not only for their fuel efficient motors, but because they truly believe they are the best motors on the market.



5. Hook & Drag The Strike

Swordfish have been known to tease the bait several times before committing to a bite. When that happens, let the weight free-fall to the bottom, which should trigger the swordfish to chase the bait. Once the bait hits the bottom, reel the line back into the strike zone, where the hook should be set. Once the fish is hooked, set your reel on auto mode that maintains perfect tension on the line while letting the fish pull drag. When the monofilament leader is at the reel tip, unclip the weight from the line to finish reeling in - be ready for a fight.

Time to head out and start dragging those lines!

Watch “The Lessons of Swordfish” episode from Into the Blue below, where Captains Scott Walker & Steve Rodger cover Swordfish & all the ways you can catch them.

S11:E1 - “The Lessons of Swordfish”