Perhaps the most elusive of the billfishes, the broadbill swordfish is primarily a creature of the deep in the world’s oceans.
Perhaps the most elusive of the billfishes, the broadbill swordfish is primarily a creature of the deep in the world’s oceans. Identified by its oversized eye, suited to hunting the depths, and a bill much longer and wider than other billfishes, catches generally run 100 pounds or less, though they grow to over 1,000 pounds.
While preferring low light, in some locations such as in the Pacific, they are sometimes seen basking on the surface during daylight hours. However, most successful angling occurs drift-fishing at night, when swordfish ascend to feed, with heavy tackle and a whole rigged squid. Other fish and strip baits are also effective. The advent of no-stretch braided lines opened the possibilities to daytime fishing, drifting baits in excess of 1,000 feet of water, requiring focused, specialized angling and boat-handling techniques. Their exceptional food quality has driven relentless pressure on populations.