Bluewater catfishing-swordfish how-to - Pensacola Fishing Forum

Go Back   Pensacola Fishing Forum > Blue Water Fishing > Blue Water Fishing - General Q & A

Like Tree7Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-25-2009, 09:06 AM   #1
Squid technician
Grand Slam
 
Chris V's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: foley, Al
Posts: 10,469
Default Bluewater catfishing-swordfish how-to

Swordfishing is only as complicated as you make it. The magazines and tackle adds over the last few years have made swordfishing into this space-age fishing and you have to go to the NASA space camp to hook one of these highly intelligent beings. The fact is that they are one of the least picky of blue water fish and with even a smudge of sword info on your brain you can catch one of these delicious, bad-ass creatures.

RIGGING:

As far as rod and reels go, 30's and 50's are the norm for gulf swords, or any reel preferably holding at least 600 yards of 50lb. mono. Set your drags light; 10-14lbs. of drag is plenty as you all probably know swords have bubble gum mouths. As far as leader set-ups go I could go on and on with different ways to set them up and you can get some great info by researching past threads. I use about 15ft. of 200-300# mono for my leader which is attached by a strong snap-swivel to the wind on leader to my reel.For hooks, I useboth offset J-hooks and circles in sizes from 9/0-11/0 depending on bait size. My favorite 2 hooks are the Mustad 7699 offset, longline style hook and the Mustad 39984D wide gap circle. That circle has a huge gap and graps a lot more meat in that soft mouth of the sword. They are also a lot cheaper than other models. You'll want some battery operated deep drop lights like those made by Lindgren-Pittman, centro, C&H, etc. These lights won't crush like the glow sticks and are extremely tough and will last several years. Colors are always a big subject but I think day in and day out green and blue work just as good as those multi color strobing ones. I like to attach these above the trace leader on the wind-on leaderwith a longline clip which most lights come pre-equipped with. I always use a wind-on because swords will slash at the lights and if they hit your main line can create a weak spot and after losing a couple of fish to this I never for-go the wind ons. You'll need to bring a lot of weights. I like most others use bank weights ranging in size from 8-20 oz. Sometimes you may need several pounds of these to hold your baits in position in strong currentso bring plenty. I attach these via rubber band to the bottom of the deep drop lights mentioned above. There is a molded loop on most models that you can pass the band through and then loop over your weight. Usually the band breaks during a fight but consider it a blessing if it doesn't with lead costing what it does now. The point of the breakaway obviously is to prevent the extra wrenching effect on the hook during the fight and snatching the hook out.

BAIT:

Fresh or live squid,mackeral,bluefish,hardtails,bonito,etc.etc. These fish will eat anything. How to rig can also be looked up on the forum or other sites as there is 10000 different ways to rig your baits. For live baits like hardtailsI will say thatI always bridle them with a small elastic band to expose the hook for a better set. Sometimes dyeing your squid different colors with food coloring helps, especially red.

WHERE AND HOW TO SET BAITS, LAND FISH,ETC.:

Swords are structure oriented fish so spots along the continental shelf where current meeting sharply sloping hard bottom creates upwellings and congregates bait are the places to be. The steps, spur, elbow, de soto canyon are all great spots in our area. Set up your drift in 700-1500 ft. of water and position your baits from 75-500ft. down making sure to key at least one bait around the thermocline which will appear as a faint line on your depthfinder. I set my lines using a cheap shakespeare line counter which you can buy at most shops for less than 10 bucks. These temporarily attach to your rod and your line just slides into a little slot andis on and offin seconds to pplace on the next rod. My typical spread includes 2 lines fished directly from the rod tip and 2 or 3 baits fished from balloons staggered away from the boat. I attach the balloons with a rubberband to my line and tape a glow stick to the top of them to signal a strike. Swords are notorious for picking up a bait and swimming to the surface so sometimes the only indicator of a bite is a slack line or the balloon just falls over as the weight releases from under it. At this point its very important to reel like hell and come tight on the fish before he drops the bait or dislodges a poorly imbedded hook. Its generally best that whoever the angler is, that angler wears his/her belt or harness at all times because the last thing you want is to try to put a harness on once you're hooked up. Upon hook up, have the angler keep tension on the line by constantly reelinguntil all the other lines have been brought in, then the battle begins.Keep your drag at its original setting of 10-14lbs unless you absolutely have to go up to beat the fish. Once your in leader range take simple, easy to release wraps and don't put too much pressure on the fish to avoid pulling hooks. Just ease her in and sink the steel! Just be cautious of that legendary sword on his face, it is there for a purpose. Once on board I usually gut it, fill the body cavity with ice and put it in a insulated bag. You don't have to gut it and all that but there is definitely a difference back at the dock while cleaning. Sword steaks are hands down my favorite thing to eat, I don't think I could get tired of eating them.

Well that settles that, hope someone enjoys this.

Chris
__________________
Come see me at our store below. I'm there:
Wed-Thur 1-9
Friday 7-7
Saturday 9-9
Chris V is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 

Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-25-2009, 10:26 AM   #2
Senior Member
Trigger
 
BlueWater2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 216
Default RE: Bluewater catfishing-swordfish how-to

Thanks Chris,,That was a good read,lots of info .
BlueWater2 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-25-2009, 10:54 AM   #3
Senior Member
Grouper
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,026
Default RE: Bluewater catfishing-swordfish how-to

Great post. The only 2 things I think differently about are drag settings and the "soft mouth" theory and both for the same reason. Anybody that's ever fished with me knows I take the war approach to big fish angling. If the fish isn't taking line then you should be and if neither of you are, then he's resting and laughing at you. I generally disagree with people who are afraid to go up on drag settings unless you've got more than about 300yds of mono in the water and I will go to sunset on the reel at any time the fish isn't rampaging and stripping line. Small pumps on a stand-up 50 with 22# of drag will bring most swords to the boat slowly but surely and wear out the fish and the shorter the fight time the better release survival you'll get. With the number of small fish around, I think this is important.



Anyway, as for the soft mouth, it is soft, but its backed by plenty of bone and hardness. The right choice of hook - we use the same circles, but for a J we use the Jobus in large sizes and will sometimes offset them. Many think they're pulling out of swords due to a soft mouth and that a low drag will prevent this. They may be right, but I think swords are uncoordinated and aggressive and that many of the pullouts are from fish that aren't hooked at all. We've caught several that were just wrapped in the leader and a few that were tail hooked, side hooked, wrapped up or whatever. I've seen fish with big rips in their sides from getting hooked on the flank and then tearing it out so I kind of assume you're going to lose those and have been using the circles more and more to prevent that and to ensure a good corner purchase on hook-up.



Like you said, there's thousands of ways and I'm sure I'm missing bill hooks with the circles, but as good as swording has been the last few years I'm ok because I'm also missing the gill and side hooks.



Oh, and everyone needs a freaking HARPOON! God invented them for poking swords, I swear. Thanks for the post and I sure look forward for more comments.
Xanadu is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-25-2009, 11:20 AM   #4
Squid technician
Grand Slam
 
Chris V's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: foley, Al
Posts: 10,469
Default RE: Bluewater catfishing-swordfish how-to

I like the Jobu's too Hal, but all of mine corrode more rapidly so I'm boycotting them from my box! Yeah the soft mouth deal is a never ending battle and I'm not even sure what I believe anymore since I have used up to 32lbs. of drag on them without pulling the hook. But at the same time we do pull hooks on a lot of them with even modest settings so its up in the air for me. I just figure I'll travel with the herd on the soft mouth theory and take it a little easy on them and it seems to work well so far.

With everything else, you're damn right I like to put a hurtin' on em with as much drag as I can handle, especially tuna. Lock it down and tear their head off!

Thanks Hal

chris
__________________
Come see me at our store below. I'm there:
Wed-Thur 1-9
Friday 7-7
Saturday 9-9
Chris V is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-25-2009, 02:49 PM   #5
Senior Member
Grouper
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,026
Default RE: Bluewater catfishing-swordfish how-to

Next time you got one in the boat, poke your hand in there and check it out.



Anyway, yeah the Jobus do rust out quick. They used to be coated differently, but we damn near never use sword hooks more than one trip anyway, but those mesh leader bags are great for soaking/cleaning after if they haven't been used.
Xanadu is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-17-2012, 08:45 PM   #6
Senior Member
Grand Slam
 
jlw1972's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bay Minette, Al.
Posts: 8,435
Default

How in the hell did this post get by with so few comments. Great info here.

Thanks Chris. I'm gonna catch me one,....Soon.

I hope.
__________________
Go Trump!!!

Joey Welch

Blazer Bay 2170 Yamaha 200

jlw1972 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-17-2012, 09:23 PM   #7
Squid technician
Grand Slam
 
Chris V's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: foley, Al
Posts: 10,469
Default

Thanks Joey, but this thing is old as hell!

There are some things that I could add (and subtract) but that'll have to be for another time
__________________
Come see me at our store below. I'm there:
Wed-Thur 1-9
Friday 7-7
Saturday 9-9
Chris V is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-17-2012, 09:27 PM   #8
Senior Member
Sailfish
 
jack2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: my home's in alabama
Posts: 1,561
Default biologists

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlw1972 View Post
How in the hell did this post get by with so few comments. Great info here.

Thanks Chris. I'm gonna catch me one,....Soon.

I hope.

hey, joey,
when you catch that monster, be ready for the biologist.
just kidding, man. let me know when your ready to go. i've done the overnighter thing several times with no hits. pm me on the gcfc.

jack
jack2 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-29-2012, 02:27 PM   #9
Senior Member
Grouper
 
Captain Mickey O'Reilly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Navarre, FL
Posts: 885
Default

Great post Chris! Now if we can only get some decent weather...
__________________
http://www.angrybirdfishingcharters.com/
Captain Mickey O'Reilly
Angry Bird Fishing Charters LLC
850-723-1274
[email protected]
24 Cape Horn "PRETTY TUFF"
Captain Mickey O'Reilly is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-29-2012, 07:01 PM   #10
Make it a Grady Day.
White Marlin
 
DAWGONIT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,784
Default

+1 on thanks for the tutorial!
DAWGONIT is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Pensacola Fishing Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
How Did You Find Us?
Tell us how you heard about Pensacola Fishing Forum.

Log-in



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 RC 2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.