Emil J. Krejci Jr., 54, set a new state saltwater record with his 412-pound, 97-inch swordfish caught June 29 while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Krejci.
Before, the unrestricted record catch was 374.80 pounds and 95-inch-long and was made Aug. 30, 2013 in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website. The unrestricted category includes a variety of methods of catching fish —spear gun, tort line, gig, or, like in Krejci’s case, an electric rod and reel.
The current rod-and-reel record is a 493-pound, 145.75-inch long swordfish caught June 4, 2013 using squid as bait, according to the parks department website.
Krejci, along with two of his friends, cast a line using an electric rod and a bonita belly. The group hooked the fish at about 1,350 feet deep. “It’s different than casting a line in 5 or 6 feet of water,” said Krejci. “When a fish that big bites a line that deep, it’s very subtle, making his catch even more significant.
Once Krejci felt the fish take the bait around 3 p.m., it took more than two hours to reel in.
“She came up numerous times. She made numerous jumps,” Krejci said. “She was a good fish but you never know that until you get home.”
Krejci said the group was “very impressed” by the quickness and speed of the fish.
“(You’re) excited and panicking at the same time when the fish makes a jump,” he said.
And surprisingly, when trying to reel in a 412-pound fish for more than two hours, exhaustion doesn’t kick in until later, he said.
Later that day, the group went back out after putting their catch on ice and hooked up to another swordfish but ended up losing it, but no record breaker this time.