SLI 9.28.17 - PHINS Deep / Sword or Marlin crashed the party

Been a while.... Went out on husband and wives trip yesterday on the 22' century. Forecasted 4-6' swells didn't scare us off and SLI inlet was actually quite a bit easier to navigate than I expected with the outgoing tide. Beautiful calm swell but really yucky water all the way out to 260'. Stopped at a nice rip with some scattered weed at PBH with a few other boats working the area. Free lined and chunked live mullet for an hour or so with no luck. Not sure what type they were, but crabs and jellies were swimming on top EVERYWHERE out there, probably stirred up from the hurricanes.

Pushed on and found another weedline in 650'... Nothing. Zero current btw, even in the gulf stream. Kept at it and finally found a perfect edge and solid weedline as far as visible North and South in about 1200 - 1300'. Quickly caught a 12 lb phin on mullet, hooked the larger bull but he spit the hook on the first jump. Trolled south for 20 minutes then back north on the opposite side. Nothing... Then we came across this:

Perfectly intact deck top debris... Lots of life. Had some undersized triple tail and cobia underneath. Tons of almacos and bait. 5 minutes in mahi around the boat. Lost one big one but ended up landing 2 in the mid teens lb range and 2 around 8-10 lbs. Went back to reset on the floating dock when we saw the FIN.

Thought it was a marlin at first but looking at the curvature and blunt tip of the dorsal, think it was a swordfish. It was a BEAST. Didn't have any gear on board to even try, so just watched it crash our fishing grounds and scare everything off. First time seeing something like that and it was worth it! I tried to video, but the quality came out poor. Worked the area for another 30-40 minutes then started heading in.

Tried some bottom spots on the way in at 120' and 90' with ZERO bites. Southwest drift and swell have them confused? Ended the day with 5 mahi... 3 over 10lbs and 2 8-10 lbs.

Should be more and more debris each day with these recent hurricanes.


  • Plastered2850Plastered2850 Posts: 1,216 Officer
    Nice catch.
  • tunahoundtunahound Posts: 342 Deckhand
    Thanks for the report, and nice catch and photos.
  • rgambotzrgambotz Posts: 223 Deckhand
    great report!
  • Drew261Drew261 Posts: 58 Deckhand
    Great photos of the "FIN"! I'm not certain if a sword will eat on the top like that. I had one chance off of Palm Beach to pitch a bait to a sword that was pushing 300-350. He ended up swimming right up to the boat. I pitched, white water went everywhere, line came tight, adrenaline started pumping, then realized giant remora ate the bait and it spooked the sword so he went ballistic. I heard when they come up like that, they are actually sunning themselves and not trying to find food. Not sure how accurate that is.
  • Captain DaveCaptain Dave Posts: 3,374 Captain
    Nice job on your day. My guess is that the fin you saw was from a hammerhead shark. Their dorsal fins are pretty tall and they are very common off Stuart. I've seen over 10 this year cruising around while we have been live baiting. Either way, nice day!

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  • FS ShelbyFS Shelby Posts: 684 Officer
    Great report, thanks for sharing with the FS forum community!

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  • dpdashdpdash Posts: 5,347 Admiral
    Great report and day! Agree, looks more like a shark but hard to say. When swords are sunning they come to the top to digest food, will eat occasionally
  • FishinNoleFishinNole Posts: 407 Officer
    Very nice

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