Skip to main content

Swordfish

Swordfish

The Swordfish

The Swordfish, Xiphias gladius

A chunky and powerfully built fish with a high, crescent-shaped dorsal fin and broadly forked tail. The pectoral fins are also large and lunate. The distinguishing feature, however, is the huge bill or sword—much longer and wider than the bills of Marlins and Sailfish. Eye is also very large. Color is mostly dark brown to purple, whitish undersides.

SIZE

Historically, from 100 to more than 1,000 pounds; however, relentless and virtually unregulated commercial longline fishing has lowered the average to well under 50 pounds. World record 1,182 pounds; Florida record 612 pounds, 4 ounces.


FOOD VALUE


Among the very best, which is helping skid the species toward oblivion.

GAME QUALITIES

Not as wild or acrobatic as the Blue Marlin, but an equally powerful and rugged fighter that can get off some spectacular jumps on occasion.

TACKLE AND BAITS




Although big fish are now rare, Swordfish are hooked so seldom that anyone who fishes for them is advised to use at least 50-pound line, matched to good ocean tackle. The best Swordfish bait always has been a large, rigged natural squid, but rigged baitfishes can work. During the 1970s, many Swordfish topping 400 pounds were caught by sportsmen, who fished by choice on calm nights, mostly during the summer, but also during good weather in fall and winter, and generally deployed two or more baits at different depths. The majority of strikes came at 100 feet or deeper.

FISHING SYSTEMS

Drifting.

Recommended


OTHER NAMES

Broadbill Swordfish Pez Espada 

RANGE

All deep ocean waters of Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

HABITAT

The deep sea.

Day Time Sword

Forum member Farinco caught a nice sword out of Haulover.

Sun Lit Sword

Forum member has been on top of the day-time swordfish bite lately. Here he is with another nice keeper out of Haulover.

Hoo's Sword?

Forum member farinco and friend, display a nice daytime swordfish and bonus wahoo.

South Sword

Forum member farinco catching this lunker after getting a few bites

Sword

Decent size sword fish caught by another FS fisherman.

Large Swordfish

Michael Grant of Team Three Buoys out of Palm County land this monster swordfish while fishing offshore during the winter months.

Swordfish

Big ole Sword fish caught by forum member Capt. Ross while fishing in the south region.

Swordfish

FS member FourReelSVT with a nice daytime swordfish.

Miami Swordfish

FS member Ultraplayer26 caught this 260 pound sword deep dropping during the day off Miami.

Captain Easy's Swordfish

FS member Captain Easy and Crew caught this 250 pound swordfish during the day off Islamorada.

Daytime Sword

FS member Stetson Law with a nice daytime swordfish.

Daytime Swordfish

FS member Schmittyfish561 with a swordfish caught deep dropping during the day.

Swordfish

Swordfish Jump

Eric Wickstrom captured this swordfish jump in the Southeast region.

Pull!

The crew on this 21' Contender puts in all their effort to haul in this massive daytime swordfish caught on an electric rod and reel in the southeast region. They're going to need a bigger fishbox!

oseadmarine

Florida Sportsman member oseadmarine and crew with a swordfish caught in the south region.

St. Augustine Swordfish

FS Member C&H Lures posted this swordfish catch from southeast of St. Augustine.

Boynton Swordfish

Swordfish

Big sword caught out of Palm Beach on Labor Day weekend. Fish measured 90 inches LJF and 53 inches girth. Estimated around 350 lbs. give or take a little, because this girl was fat. Daytime dropping in 1600 ft of water and caught on a bonito strip with a squid skirt.

Swordfish

Big sword caught out of Palm Beach on Labor Day weekend. Fish measured 90 inches LJF and 53 inches girth. Estimated around 350 lbs. give or take a little, because this girl was fat. Daytime dropping in 1600 ft of water and caught on a bonito strip with a squid skirt.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Let's break down how to modify one of the easiest and strongest line-to-leader connections when using heavy fluorocarbon or monofilament leader.
Learn

How to Modify Double Uni Connection for Heavy Leader

Jeff Weakley, editor of Florida Sportsman Magazine, breaks down how to tie a non-slip loop knot, an easy and useful fishing knot that every fisherman who uses artificial lures needs to know.
Learn

How to Tie a Loop Knot: Best Fishing Knot for Lures and Jigs

Jeff Weakley, editor of Florida Sportsman Magazine, breaks down the easiest way to tie one of the most versatile, strong and reliable fishing knots that every fisherman needs to know, the uni knot.
Learn

How to Tie a Uni Knot: Easy, Strong & Reliable Fishing Knot

The scented and flavored Gulp! baits are always a good choice in saltwater, and the Grub style baits in particular are a universal choice. Learn how to choose and rig different sizes for different kinds of fishing, from the flats to the coastal reefs. Plus, a Key West fishing expert weighs in on special uses for offshore fishing.
Sportfish

Berkley Gulp! Curly Tail Grub. Berkley Gulp! Grub is a Surprise Hit In Salt Water

In salt water, everything eats shrimp. The Berkley Gulp! Shrimp is an excellent choice for any situation where you want to appeal to a marine fish's interest in shrimp. Here's expert advice on rigging these unique baits, plus proven tips on casting and retrieving them. Storage is another great attribute; these shrimp baits are ready to go when you are!
Sportfish

Berkley Gulp! Shrimp: A Bait That's Better than Live Shrimp!

Join professional surf fishing guide Capt. Paul Sperco for a conversation about reels that hold up in extreme saltwater conditions. Sperco also offers great tips on rigging different kinds of spinning combos for catching pompano, whiting, snook and other popular fish. All of it is done from shore! Easy, fun fishing anyone can enjoy.
Sportfish

Penn Sealed Saltwater Reels: Durable Reels for Surf, Pier and Other Saltwater Fishing

We join Key West, Florida, fishing Captain Pepe Gonzalez to discuss one the most important advances in saltwater fishing tackle in the last 25 years: The advent of fluorocarbon leader material. Fluorocarbon definitely improves your chances of getting bites from wary-eyed ocean fish such as snappers, tunas, tarpon and sailfish.
Sportfish

Berkley Fluorocarbon line: Captains Say Use Fluorocarbon Leader to Catch More Fish

Florida Sportsman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now