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December 17, 2012

Virginia Swordfish Record Broken

Joseph Harris landed a 446-pounder in early September.

Virginia's state record swordfish catch was broken after Joseph T. Harris landed a 446-pounder in early September. Harris’ swordfish surpasses the existing record of 381.5 pounds, caught over 30 years earlier, by James Alexander of Virginia Beach. 

Harris caught the swordfish off Virginia Beach, south of the Norfolk Canyon, while fishing with Capt. Justin Wilson out of Lynnhaven Inlet. The huge swordfish hit a drifted whole squid.

Harris used a 50-pound-class setup, loaded with 50-pound-test Ande monofilament line. Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament State Record Committee member Ken Neill, III, of Seaford, verified the weight, length, and girth measurements and positively identified the swordfish, in accordance with the Tournament’s State Record procedures. Plus, he completed the state record application.

About the Catch

The crew deployed deep baits for swordfish at about 11 PM. The first strike came quickly, but it was an estimated 10-foot tiger shark (that was released).  Next, a 46-inch swordfish pup was released. The record fish hit about 2:30 AM and came to the boat quickly, as the crew touched the leader in about ten minutes. The fish then sounded, and after 2-plus hours, they used several gaffs to control the sword and pull it through the tuna door.

Inside Rudee Inlet, the swordfish weighed 446 pounds and measured a lower jaw fork length of 98 inches, with an overall length of 152.5 inches.   

--Source: Virginia Marine Resources Commission