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How to fish for Swordfish

Swordfish feed daily, most often at night when they rise to surface and near-surface waters in search of smaller fish. They have been observed moving through schools of fish, thrashing their swords to kill or stun their prey and then quickly turning to consume their catch. In the western North Atlantic, squid is the most popular food item consumed. But fish, such as menhaden, mackerel, bluefish, silver hake, butterfish, and herring also contribute to the swordfish diet. Swordfish are vigorous, powerful fighters.
Regarded as the toughest of all the billfish due to it's deep and rapid dives it takes when hooked. The mouth of the Swordfish is soft compared to other billfish and reel drags should be kept at a minimum. Preset your drags anywhere from 12 to 25 pounds at strike.
Swordfish are less likely to be in the top layer of water during the day and different techniques must be employed to ensure success. Deep water rigs are the most productive during the day. A good bait is a large fresh squid rigged on a single hook. The squid's tube should be injected with tuna oil via a large syringe then allowed to soak in tuna oil for about 24 hours. Just before the squid is dropped over board the tube should be pierced with small holes to allow the tuna oil to leak out slowly. A light stick can be attached to the squid or to the top of the leader. This aids in attracting the Swordfish. Live bait is also a great option, use any of the Runner species, Rainbows, Blues etc. In the winter time the Tinker Mackerel are abundant and work well. Live baits should be bridled to their hooks. Choose a good hook in the 9/0 to 12/0 range.
Bricks or containers filled with sand or cement can be used to ensure the bait sinks quickly. Breakaway rigs are popular as they allow the angler to fight the fish unhindered plus the weight can lead to the fish throwing the hook. This method can also be used when night fishing but less weight is needed as Swordfish will rise towards the surface in the evening.
For Swordfish a heavy action rod such as a 6 foot Shimano Tallus works well. A good fishing reel for the Swordfish is the 80 or 50 wide Shimano Tiagra with 80 pound test on the 50 and a 100 pound test on the 80. Spool them completely full with line as Swordfish can head straight for the bottom, emptying your reel quickly. Swordfish have good vision so use long leaders past 25 feet, keeping your swivel well away from the bait. Use leaders in the 250 to 300 pound range. Attach your light stick above the swivel. 


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