Billfish Sportfishing

324.0 lb. Swordfish caught by Billfish Sportfishing fishing in Florida on 11/07/07

Posted by Billfish Sportfishing Expert Member over 12 years ago

324.0 lb. Swordfish caught by Billfish Sportfishing fishing in Florida on 11/07/07
114.0" / 324.0 lb. Swordfish caught by Billfish Sportfishing fishing on Wednesday November 07, 2007 at 22:08 1.58 km from Islamorada in Monroe County, Florida (FL), United States North America using a Squid a Baitfish

Swordplay in the Keys

In early November, I was once again fortunate enough to visit the nearest thing to a fishing Valhalla that can be found anywhere in the wide world of salt water angling, Bud N’ Mary’s Marina located in Islamorada in middle of the Florida Keys. John Brunelle, good friend and fishing buddy (president and owner of Prosystems in Plainfield, CT- and I had been discussing a trip to this world famous fishing destination for some time. Then, a late afternoon call from good friend, Capt. Richard Stanczyk, who is the owner and operator of Bud N’ Mary’s came in. He informed me that, “The sails and swords are really biting hard!” Richard related that, during the later part of the previous week, Capt. Vic Gaspeny had caught his 99th and 100th daytime swordfish on the same daytrip! He now holds the world's record for the most swords caught in one day (during the daytime- which makes this feat all the more incredible), a total of 7 fish up to 310 lb.
It took all of 30 seconds to call John with that report, and it was instantly decided that a quick, four day, late fall road trip to Islamorada, the ‘Sport Fishing Capital of the World,’ was needed to ensure a state of continued, mental well-being. Islamorada is a world class fishing destination and the place where you can fulfill all of your fishing fantasies when there’s nothing else happening up in the Northeast in regards to angling action.
While we had to had to spend a little time aboard a non-stop Delta flight heading toward Fort Lauderdale International Airport to get to south Florida, that really wasn’t such a bad trade off. The temperature upon departure from Bradley International was a chilly 28 degrees was contrasted by a balmy 78 degrees upon our arrival in Fort Lauderdale.
After picking up a rental chariot, from the conveniently located facilities within the FLL terminal, the first stop in our pilgrimage to this Mecca of Fishing was a quick visit to the International Game Fish Association’s Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum. This ultra-modern structure is devoted to worldwide gamefishing achievements, Hall of Fame Inductees’ biographies, angling memorabilia, and an unbelievable display of mounts that depict nearly all of the gamefish that can be found swimming in the world’s waters.
The two hour drive down to Islamorada, which is located 90 miles south of Miami, via the Florida Turnpike and scenic Route 1, was more-or-less uneventful, with the exception of the ‘dodge-um’ style of driving behaviors that are typically found on the Sunshine State’s highways. Richard had set us up with lodging on the ‘Lucky Lady,’ a houseboat that features modern amenities and a view that offers front row seats for some of the most scenic sunrises and sunsets to be found in the Keys.
After a great meal at the Lori-Lei we headed back to the houseboat where John was given a few pointers on how to catch a tarpon. Heading over to a nearby bridge, he was coached on where to toss his offerings and, before one could count to 30, a mercurial hued torpedo came blasting out of the water engaging in a myriad of aerial acrobatics before breaking off. That didn't matter much as he was awed by the sheer power and fighting abilities that this species possess. He later landed a second ‘Silver King’ completing his matriculation in this art form of Key’s fishing.
With the wind having blown nearly continuously for four days with no letup in sight, it initially appeared that all our time down in this paradise might be spent ashore. However, early on Tuesday morning, it finally abated and, during the late afternoon, we headed out towards Alligator Light with Capt. Nick Stanczyk and Jimmy (the mate) to ‘bait up’ for the following day’s trip. Trolling small feathered jigs, we managed to put over two dozen bonito and blue runners in the bait cooler.
Wednesday morning, Richard and Nick, Jimmy, John, and I headed off to do a little daytime sword fishing on the B N' M, a 35 ft Crusader express. After running for two hours, we began drifting along the 'Heart of the Stream a good distance from the marina, we managed one hookup out of five 'bites' but, what a bite it was! I ended up on the short end of the 80-lb class stick for 3 1/2 hours before we brought a 324 lb. broadbill up to the boat, 4 1/2 miles from where it jumped all over the day's entree. We’d hooked up at 10:15 AM and landed it at 1:45 PM which, believe me, is a long time to do battle with any fish! While I've landed a few big fish every now and then, this swordfish came as close to kicking my butt as anything that has ever nibbled on my offerings. Broadbill battles are highlighted by the tremendous power and stamina of these glorious fish possess as they never give an inch. Several times, this fish was brought up to within 200 ft. of the surface before it screamed off down into the abyss in the depths of the 1,200- to 1,500 feet of water (actually, too many times to count) that we were fishing in. Endgame brought about little excitement, but all's well that ends well as the fish was stuck, gaffed and then dragged into the cockpit. We reset the baits, had a couple of quick 'taps,' but nothing came tight before we headed back to the dock at 3:30 PM for a photo session.
If you ever want to catch a swordfish, either during the day or night, there’s no doubt that is the place to do it. Richard has an unmatched streak going in regards to catching the swords during the daylight hours. While I’ve caught swords before drifting at night, the capture of this magnificent fish during the day was just an unreal experience and truly one of the highlights of my angling career.
Side trips on this visit included spending time and some stick handling in his new plane with ESPN personality Capt. Jose Wejebe (Spanish Fly), spinning tales with Key Largo rod shop owner Rick Berry, along with visits to the Redbone Art Gallery, perusing the well stocked aisles of the Worldwide Sportsman, and stops for some tropical libations at well-known establishments such as the Islamorada Fish Company, the Whistle Stop, and the Zane Grey Lounge.
The Florida Keys (especially Islamorada) are truly a special place as the sun is almost always shining, the near-tropical breezes are blowing, and the people are always friendly. While the fishing is about as good as it gets anywhere in the wide world of salt water angling, it’s the memories and friendships made there that are things that will be remembered over one’s lifetime. It also must be noted that, without John’s generosity, good natured ways, and camaraderie, this trip wouldn’t have been half as much fun for me.
If a perfect description of just how an enjoyable fishing trip were to be written up in a column for a specific species of fish that you hoped to catch while in the Keys, then there can be no better than what I’ve related above. You can reach Richard or Nick at
Bud N’ Mary’s Marina to set up your own fabulous ‘Smilin’ Islands- Florida Keys’ fishing trip by calling 1-800-742-7945 or by checking out their website at .

13 members like this

Leonard Smith
Juan Gomez
Sandra Wright
deez nutts
Dennis Huskins
Brian Shea
John A Wright
Brandon Mabrey
Tim Fancher
Albert Scantleberry
Pedro Pacheco
Joe Pych
Billfish Sportfishing
(Sign in to like this)


Dennis Huskins


Posted by Dennis Huskins Elite Member over 10 years ago



Posted by THE HAMMER Elite Member over 11 years ago

Brandon Mabrey

great story and pic that a huge fish

Posted by Brandon Mabrey Elite Member over 11 years ago

Pedro Pacheco


Posted by Pedro Pacheco Expert Member over 12 years ago

Chris DeMartine

I had no idea that these fish would dive so deep. I get tired pulling up a 12 ounce sinker and a big blackfish in just 80 feet of water. Sounds like I would need to go to the gym a few more times before taking a trip like this.

I consider myself a pretty good fisherman, but this is an entirely different league --- hopefully one day I'll have a chance to get out there.

Thanks for sharing your story on Hooked-In... this is what it's all about!


Posted by Chris DeMartine Expert Member over 12 years ago

Albert Scantleberry

A lengthy but good story with a nice brute to show off.

Posted by Albert Scantleberry Expert Member over 12 years ago

Joe Pych

Bill, This is a fantastic story! I was last in Islamorada in 1991 with my brother after he graduated from U of Miami. A very special place indeed and your story illustrates this very nicely.

I am ready for a second round of education from you ;-).

Posted by Joe Pych Elite Member over 12 years ago

Sign in to post your comment.

Map is hidden. Please sign in to unlock this feature.
back to report
Fishing report - 300.0 lb. Mako Shark caught by Billfish Sportfishing fishing on 08/11/07 Fishing report - 27.6 lb. King Salmon caught by ShowStopper Fishing Charters fishing in Lake Ontario in New York on 07/08/06
300.0 lb. Mako Shark caught by Billfish Sportfishing fishing on 08/11/07 27.6 lb. King Salmon caught by ShowStopper Fishing Charters fishing in Lake Ontario in New York on 07/08/06

Please Sign in

No user ID? No problem.
Get your free Membership