Florida Anglers Break Record With Massive Swordfish

by Matthew Wilson

Four Florida anglers have their own version of “Old Man and the Sea” when they battle to reel-in this record-smashing swordfish.

The four young fishermen heard that the swordfish were biting near Fort Lauderdale. And bite the swordfish did. The four soon found themselves in the ultimate tug-of-war out on the water. Hunter Irvine, Timmy Maddock, Jeremey Rafferty, and Jaime Johanson of Florida took Irvine’s 31-foot boat “Young Guns Too” out for a fishing trip.

They returned with a 767-pound, 107-inch monster of a swordfish. The sea creature was only a few pounds short of breaking the U.S. record for the largest swordfish ever. It did break the Florida record, however.

The fishermen went fishing 18 miles from Fort Lauderdale. Despite some waves, the four knew right away when the swordfish made its entrance. The bait on the line slacked and the fish actually came to the surface, ripping above the tide. The sight of the swordfish made the young anglers anxious.

“I was so nervous getting ready with the harpoon that my legs locked up,” Irvine told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I got a good harpoon shot and it was then that we realized what a true sea monster we had.”

A Tug-of-War with the Swordfish

The anglers must have had arms of steel. Because they certainly got their workout in before the afternoon was through. It took around five hours of a constant battle to reel in the monster fish.

“It was insane,” Johanson told Local 10. “Honestly, I just stared at the fish until it sunk in, like wow, this is a sea monster.”

The four finally managed to haul their catch into the boat.

“This was an indescribable feeling and there is a good chance I will never see another swordfish that big in my life,” Irvine told the newspaper. “It’s amazing I was able to catch a fish that size at such a young age. We were just out there to have fun and catch a couple of fish.”

By the time they had reeled in the fish and made it back, the Lighthouse Point Marina had closed. It was after 8 p.m. by this point. But Irvine decided to make some calls to try to have the fish weighed. A certified scale confirmed the four had indeed captured an aquatic beast. The four friends celebrated their achievement.

“It was pretty chaotic bringing a fish that size onto the boat,” Irvine said. “I can only hope that I can top this catch someday. It is very cool to have the Florida record. Record or not it was great to catch a fish that big with my friends. The fish always tastes better when you catch it.”