Few anglers ever get to go after swordfish, even in they have a boat capable of making those long runs far out into the ocean where these billfish live. Why? Because historically most have been caught at night, when the swords rise up from the deep to feed on migrating squid that have moved up close to the surface. Modern daytime swordfishing techniques have, however, completely changed this game. You’d like to take a run at a sword? All you’ll need to do is run out to 1,000 to 1,500 or so feet of water, preferably where there’s a sharp drop or pinnacle to serve as structure. Drop your rig (rigged squid, eels, and large baitfish all work) down to bottom, bring it up 100 feet, and carefully watch your rod tip for a bite. When one comes reel as quickly as possible (electric reels have a huge advantage, in this regard) to set the hook. It is NOT, of course, nearly as easy as we’re making it sound here.
The big trick comes in getting your bait that far down—without becoming tangled—in the first place. Try attaching a weight and dropping it straight down from a drifting boat and you’ll have a guaranteed mess. Instead, follow this procedure:
One final note: if it seems like you missed a hit, keep bringing that line up. Quite often a sword will allow itself to be brought up to the surface without putting up much resistance at all. But when you get to 100 feet and stop reeling so you can pull off the longline clip and weight, watch out. This is usually when the fish decides to go crazy, and with an angry swordfish on the line you’re in for a knock-down, drag-out fight.