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Old 06-15-2017, 09:19 PM   #1
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Default late report from the MGCBC

I haven't written a bluewater report in a while and I wanted to share this one because I was genuinely proud of our crew. If I'm gonna type a report, it's gonna be a full one....

I fished on board Steve Coker's 46' Bertram "Change Order" with Capt. Curt "Smiley" Langford and a few OB locals, PJ, Sawyer and Christian, to round out the crew. Our target was Swordfish, my favorite offshore target. With some serious bonus money on the line, it was obvious that many were going the same direction. There were some big names that traveled to Biloxi to target Broadbills; Nick Stanczyk, RJ Boyle, etc. not to mention the local sword slayers. Competition was tough to say the least.

Day 1 had us untying shortly after 11AM and headed to our first spots to the West to day drop. I got to work rigging baits, making sure they looked great and were stitched up well enough to take the beatings Swords love to give.

As soon as we arrived, we sent one down. As we drifted 30-40lb yellowfin started busting everywhere around us but with lines down a 1/4 mile beneath us and money on the line, we left them be. PJ got the drone out and scored some great footage of the high-flying YFTs as they chased flyers around the boat. We drifted til dark without a tap. I didn't worry though because big things often happen once the sun goes down

We shifted rods; daytime setups up and away and the night gear out. A beautiful spread positioned along the two dominant thermoclines and baits in between. At 9:49PM the deepest bait got a hard smack. We teased the fish multiple times and dropped back after several big hits. Pull and drop.....for just over 10 minutes while the Sword was swinging for the fences. PJ was to be the angler on the first fish and after a couple hard hits the tip just quivered. "HE'S EATING, LET HIM HAVE IT, GIVE HIM A SECOND" I told him. We watched the tip move lightly and then go slack. PJ reeled fast and after about 30yds of line came tight!!! The fish took a serious amount of line on it's first run and never slowed for a solid eight minutes. After an hour of slow gain, PJ eased the drag up a bit. This fish fought brilliantly, never taking long runs after the initial burst and doing what big swords do after that, taking just enough to stay below the thermocline and dig in that cold water. We stayed patient and after the 4 hour mark, I saw the line starting to move slowly back and forth, showing the fish was pin wheeling and the end was in sight. We planed the fish slowly and at 2:31AM I had the leader in hand and the Marsh Tacky gaff hit home. We knew it was a good fish, 80" short length, but not "unbeatable", so after a quick celebration the fish was packed in ice and lines reset.

At 4:50AM the 300ft bait started getting smacked. Christian started the tease and the fish responded for a bit. After a dead two minutes or so, we figured the fish might've moved on.....then the 200ft bait got hammered and the reel started singing. Christian got on it and after some very spirited runs, we had a nice 80lb Sword at the transom for a clean release. After reeling up the first bait it had been hitting, we realized the sword had cut the squid in half despite the intense stitching. Those stitches help....but are not always sword-proof!!!

The sun came up shortly after and it was time to take a break, eat and make the move to daytime spots. We hit a couple spots and not a single bite. It was taxing, but we stayed persistent. We'd move, mark, drop, drift, repeat as often as needed. Around Mid-day, we had picked up our bait again and Steve and I planned to make a big move to another location, but first, I wanted to pull up to a close rig and make some bait. As we headed over a few crew members started waking and a couple lures were put in. As we pulled up to the rig a 400+lb Blue went apesh#t 30ft from the rig. We came over the top of her and she ate the left long immediately! I don't know how it happened because I was delirious from being up for 30hrs, but I ended up in the chair. Marlin weren't our target but we also don't skip opportunity, so I tried to make fast work of her. She put on a great show for us and I put on the heat when she wasn't showboating on the surface. At 40 minutes we had here boatside for a quick release. She measured 104" S/L and as thick as they come.

We made a few more day drops to no avail, which is extremely odd in my experience, but it's fishing. Night came fast, and the baits went out just as fast. The current had changed though, big time. Near 2 knots and the water looked like yoohoo. With a conflicting wind, the lines were at hard angles. We caught a Hammerhead and moved right after. We hit a nicer pocket of water over big structure to the East and the bait was more plentiful. No takers through the night.

At sunrise, we left baits out, hoping to get a bite from a transitioning fish as it headed deep for the day. Blackfin started busting and as we were watching them do their thing, the deep bait got hit. I started the tease and after about 4 minutes she ate. The fish screamed straight for the surface and cleared it with brutal head shakes. Steve harnessed up and put the pressure on. This Sword stayed up high the entire fight and made some great runs. After about 20 minutes I had the leader in hand and got a view of the fish. It was a nice one, between 150-170lbs. We debated the options of C&R or greasing her and before the decision could be made she shook her head and chafed through the 300lb mono. No worries, got the release.

After that we made another day drop and without a single bite yet again, we moved off and put a spread in to try and hook a Wahoo. We did end up getting a 29.8lb Wahoo but obviously it wasn't going to be a money fish.

We headed in and got in line. To say we were anxious as hell would be an understatement. We backed in, they slid her off and then the nerves started jumping. First place was at 219lbs and we figured it would top that. It hit just over 230lbs and we felt pumped. I didn't feel a win though as I had heard Nick Stanczyk and crew had a fish they had estimated in the low 200s. I hoped and I prayed and went to the buffet to try and smother my nerves in crab legs. Midway through my meal I got the message saying Stanczyk's fish edged ours by 12lbs. What a gut punch!!!!

Still extremely stoked for our 2nd place finish and the quality of fish we caught. It was also a huge boost knowing we were on the board at the end of the night amidst a huge field of competitors. Being a hardcore Swordfish lover, that kind of placement meant a lot. Very thankful.

Here's a few pics. BJ is making a nice vid but it isn't ready so here's what I got for now.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:20 PM   #2
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couple more
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:16 PM   #3
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That's a heck of a report & pictures. I read some local boys from Alligator Point won it for swordfish.

http://forums.floridasportsman.com/s...llfish-classic

That's a heck of a payday for them guys plus a brand new truck.

That was a very nice fish 104" = 8'-8"

Last edited by stc1993; 06-15-2017 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stc1993 View Post
That's a heck of a report & pictures. I read some local boys from Alligator Point won it for swordfish.

http://forums.floridasportsman.com/s...llfish-classic

That's a heck of a payday for them guys plus a brand new truck.

That was a very nice fish 104" = 8'-8"
My hats off to them. They had Nick Stanczyk on board too, who is arguably the best Swordfisher in the country. Nick is known for low-balling weights on fish so even though he didn't feel like their fish would take ours, it edged us by 12lbs and dropped our fish's value by nearly a quarter million dollars

That 104" is lower jaw to fork keep in mind. Overall length would be close to 11'
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Last edited by Chris V; 06-16-2017 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 06-16-2017, 03:07 AM   #5
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Dang that's a big fish. I wish you guys would of won.

I can't imagine running 120 miles @ 70 mph I'd be wore out before I ever got there. Both are good stories of a life time.

Last edited by stc1993; 06-16-2017 at 03:14 AM.
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:13 AM   #6
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Great report Chris.
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:13 AM   #7
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The REAL question everyone wants to know is, how was the buffet?

Nice report though. I think alot of people, me included, dream of being able to do something like that.
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etrade92 View Post
The REAL question everyone wants to know is, how was the buffet?

Nice report though. I think alot of people, me included, dream of being able to do something like that.
Honestly, considering the amount of crab legs they make, they were pretty damn good!!!
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Old 06-16-2017, 11:53 AM   #9
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congrats and great story
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Old 06-16-2017, 02:56 PM   #10
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Congrats on a great trip anyways.
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