Key West Daytime Swordfishing

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Swordfish Fishing Photos

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One of two swordfish on this trip

Since long-line fishing has become a thing of the past here in Key West, the past few seasons have been great for swordfishing in the waters off Key West, Florida. Swordfishing has become big in the Key West area and Capt. Al and his son Mic has been out fishing for them when conditions are right.  Word got out quick that we had two on our last trips, as it often does in the digital age:


How exactly do we present a bait over a thousand feet beneath the surface—in a 3-knot current, at that? How do you keep that rig from spinning into a fatal tangle? How do you sense a bite?  How do you winch 320 pounds of angry fish 2000 feet into a boat that he is not happy about meeting

The Relentless currently enjoying a high degrees of daylight and night time success  in Key West. Capt.   Al (The captain of Relentless) fully understand what it takes to land a sword in the daytime with his son first mate Mic.  They have fished together almost 20 years.

Al and Mic have taken swords in the daytime and have had larger ones on, plus multiple hookups on most trips.

The tackle they prefer is the Shimano TLD-50s , Shimano TKD30s and Penn International 50 SWT with approximately 300 yards of 80-pound-test monofilament and a top shot of 1,500 yards of 150-pound-test Power Pro in high-vis yellow. Bimini twists are tied in the 80-pound mono backing and in the Power Pro to form double lines which is finished with tight wraps of rigging floss.

The reel is attached to a bent-butt roller guide rod rated for 80-pound-class line.

The top shot of braid allows an angler to pack on an additional several hundred yards of line, as it has the diameter of much lighter monofilament. This helps in several ways: First, that extra line is handy because productive depths for daytime swording are usually much deeper than at night. Lacking stretch, the braid also allows an angler to feel the bite better.

Al prefers to fish at or near the bottom when day swording. He says that many times when they are cleaning a fish, they inspect the stomach contents and find all types of deepwater bottom dwellers in the stomach. Eels and deepwater hake, as well as squid, have all been pulled from swords at the fillet table. Al believes that swordfish in the Straits of Florida are predominantly bottom feeders and only rise toward the surface at night. They prefer to stay at or near the bottom using their large eyes and sweeping their bills back and forth while they forage. Mic says that many times their bills are chipped, apparently from contact with structure while feeding.

Al  prefers to use only two rods on the Relentless per drift for several very good reasons. When there are multiple lines, he explained, there are usually multiple tangles which lead to multiple cutoffs. “That Power Pro under a load can easily cut anything it comes in contact with,” he said. He also prefers to have the angler fight these fish from the chair where the fish is easily controlled, instead of standup style or leaving the rod in the gunnel. These are extremely powerful fish capable of pulling any angler overboard, especially in tossed seas.

Another good reason for few lines is the extreme depths to which baits are sent. Even if there were a hookup on one rod, Al reasons, it still means there are several minutes of another line down there that could result in a tangle.

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Deep Sea day time Swordfishing

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Back at the dock after a 10 hour sword fishing trip.


We drift live baits on special fishing rigs with light sticks and sometimes put special lighting in the water to attract the fish. Some fisherman say the full moon is the best time to go swordfishing if you can hit it just right. These fish are amazing and come all the way to the surface to eat. And when they eat… hold on. These fish are so powerful it is difficult to describe.


Times Price
Full Day 10 Hour Trip 7:00am to 5:00pm $1200
Night Trip 8-10 Hour Trip 4:00pm to 2:00am $1200

Please contact us with any questions at 305-395-1416 or to book a charter.

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