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  1. #1
    Lines In TeamTeke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Key Colony Beach, FL

    Default New daytime big swords from the Keys

    There is much talk going on now about two big fish in the Florida Keys. One at 520# from Islamorada and a 690# from Key Colony Beach.

    Key Colony Beach, Florida Keys - Less than 10 days after a 520-pound swordfish was caught, an even bigger broadbill has been reeled in off the Florida Keys.

    Fishing on the Mystique, a 61-foot Viking owned by Katherine MacMillan, Marathon captain Billy Rabito Jr. presided over the catch of a 683.8-pound broadbill hooked some 30 miles to the south of Marathon Tuesday afternoon. The approximate length and girth on the fish was 107 and 70 inches respectively, Rabito said. He added that the length measurement was taken between the lower jaw and the fork of the tail (normal for measuring fish) and that the overall length of the broadbill including its bill and tail was much longer.

    The fish bit a whole 5-pound bonito hooked to 80-pound braid, spooled on an electric Shimano Tiagra reel. Mike Driskell, the boat's mate who lives on Little Torch Key, manned the reel.

    It was weighed on a scale, recently certified by the international Game Fish Association and the State of Florida, according to Byron Goss, co-owner of Big Time Bait & Tackle in Marathon, who witnessed the weigh-in at Key Colony Beach Marina. About 150 spectators, who gathered for the weigh-in, were treated to complimentary fresh swordfish steaks, Rabito said.

    Rabito said it took about two hours to bring the big broadbill to the boat and additional time to get the fish onboard through the boat's large transom tuna door with the aid of an Anchor Windlass. Everyone on the boat, including MacMillan, helped to get the swordfish into the cockpit.

    "I feel blessed to have hooked that fish, keep it hooked and get it to the boat," said Rabito, a second-generation Keys captain who has been fishing professionally for the past 22 years. "Daytime fish can often come unhooked, so it's the opportunity of a lifetime."

    The fish was the second swordfish more than 500 pounds caught off the Florida Keys within 10 days and is believed to be the largest ever caught in Keys waters during daytime hours.

    On Sunday, March 25, Caribsea Captain Kenny Spaulding, a third-generation Keys charterboat captain, led angler Fred Beshara, 67, to a 520-pound broadbill off Islamorada caught on a Daiwa Dendoh mp3000 electric power-assist reel.

    "It shows that the big fish are here (off the Keys)," said veteran Keys charterboat skipper Jim Sharpe.

    The fish won't qualify for either a state or IGFA record because it was caught on an electric reel. Thus a 612.75-pound broadbill caught off Key Largo at night May 7, 1978, will continue to be the official state record, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission data.

    Rabito said when he first saw the fish, he knew it was big and would weigh more than 500 pounds, but didn't think it would approach 700 pounds.

    "I've caught lots of swordfish, including many 300-pounders and I've been waiting to get a big fish," he said.

    Modern sportfishing techniques for daytime swordfishing were pioneered in the Keys about 10 years ago by Islamorada sportfishing professionals Richard Stanczyk, his brother Scott and Vic Gaspeny. Rabito lauded their efforts that have created a whole new big game sportfishing opportunity for Keys-bound anglers.

    "I tip my hat to all the guys who have pioneered this thing," Rabito said. "It has paved the path for the younger guys and gives you great respect for those that went out there, spent a lot of time and experimented."


    More info here:

    log into the FS forum to view photos full size

    Last edited by TeamTeke; 04-06-2012 at 09:01 AM.
    Keys Magic Charters, Marathon- FL

  2. #2
    Hooked Up TOPPDAWG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    Hell yeah!!!!!!! Big fish make me hard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Grander Harry Klauber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    As more people get into this, and more are, we are going to see catches of bigger fish. More baits in the water, more water being covered, and better chances for seeing more big fish. Congrats to them on a huge fish. Harry

  4. #4
    Hooked Up broadonrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    Congrats !!! THOSE ARE SOME BIG SWORDS !!! Capt.Ahab/Brett

  5. #5


    nice fish!..

  6. #6
    Grander Disco Lady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Miami, FL


    Cono!!!! Pretty work guys!:toast

    Capt.Disco Louie

    Get Tight Sucka's!!!!!!

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