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spearing swordfish

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Active Member
May 28, 2003
Hello everybody

Yesterday I made an agreement with a fisherman that he will take to a spot where (to his knowledge) swim a lot swordfish.. He said whenever I am ready he can take.. So now I ask everybody who can help me with advice... I do not remember but I did read somewhere that the swordfish can be agressive.. I am talking about swordfish in the med... So any help advice is welcome...
Hope someone can help me with this.. It will be the first time I go for fish like these... So I am a newbe at this...

so you dont agree with killing a GWS but youre gonna shoot a sunbathing swordfish?

When sunbathing they shouldnt be too hard to approach, thats why fisherman could harpoon them of the bow of their boats. Not sure how much floatation you have, but these are DEEP diving animals. Definately no place for inflatable floats. The pointy end is definately worth keeping an eye on. :crutch
He rig

I did not know about the sunbathing part... I really do not know anything about the fish apart from the tast :p . This is why I first ask advise to people whom have more knowledge about the species.... I know that it's not commen in the med. The fishermen says other things butt the stats do not lie..

And I think there is a big difference between killing a swordfish and eating it with familie and friends incontrast to killing a GWS... I do not know what they did with the carcas??? Butt do not get me wrong rig I give nothing butt super respect to the divers whom went in.... The GWS was huge!!

If you have a site or if you have info which you can e-mail that would be super appriciated... I have been on google all day butt have not found much I can use...

Thanxx in advance

I assume that you're refering to Broadbill Swordfish, scientific name Xiphias gladius. They're also refered to as the Prince of Billfish. Anglers regard them as the ULTIMATE billfish. VERY POWERFUL and has a soft mouth making it extremely difficult for anglers to land. They're nocturnal feeders, which stay VERY deep during the day and rise closer to the surface to feed on squid at night. You do encounter them early morning basking in the sun. I've seen two doing this on our tuna grounds. They're then very easy to approach.

They grow to weights in excess of 600kg's and have been recorded at deeper than 700m below the surface!!!!!!!!!

I am not aware of anybody taking one with a speargun yet. They are also known to be very aggressive and attack the boat the anglers are on. As Rigdvr stated, they do live very deep, so i'd assume that plenty of flotation is needed unless you get a kill shot in.

Thats about all i know about them. I could give you plenty more on fishing tactics we use to catch them, but that starts becoming complicated!!

The swordfishing fishery in the Mediterrenean is depleted and (if I am not mistaken) recreational swordfish harvest is illegal in Greece. The size of the swordfish they get in Greece is pretty pathetic. We had a similar situation here in the U.S. until commercial longlining was stopped and swords have made a huge comeback. The recreational anglers get fish in excess of 300 lbs. The fish are found in the deep water (1500-2000 fsw) at the Gulf Stream. They are a powerful and fast fish. Here's another example of how commercial fishing interests can destroy a fishery.
If you are going to target them, I would recommend a set-up similar to tuna fishing with thick shaft (at least 8mm), break-away, bungees and several foam filled floats. Check all your connections and beware of the bill :blackeye .
Here are some swords that my friend Chris got with hook-and-line out of Miami last week. The bigger one went 180 lbs. Had some steaks a couple of days ago :p


  • chris.JPG
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Thanxx for the info, If I make the final descision to go and try this I have to be verry wel prepared... I will call some friends of mine greece and they will know everything before I get there... If the fishing on those fish is not allowed by law then I will not attemt to catch one...

Miles if you have more info on hunting techniques and most important on the landing techniques feel free to mail mee... I prefer to have to much information than to try and to just injure one for nothing.

Thanks again for the help
Just to put my oar in ....

They are pretty much over fished where ever you go.

Maybe that is worth considering or at least being aware of.

There is a pretty high pressure on this species - whether you choose to shoot them or not is not for me to say but I would say find out more about them than just their name and that they taste good :)

This is why I am gathering as much information as possible before I decide to go thru with the idea... The way it is going now I do not think I will go thru with it... It's a descision that I consider to be heavy... This is the reason why I am looking to get as much info as I can... If I end up not doing atleast I heavy learned much about the species..

Thanxx everyone
In California USA at san clemente few weeks we cut the motor and can sometimes see the swords descend 3/4 mileoff land they are spooky fish with 2 sightings in the day but no aproach even though one diver wantsed to shoot his gun from my boat
they lower by sound and deep, trackable on fish finder

Do it man! No one has ever done it, not many fish left that you can say that about. If your contact has a spot you need to come up with the right rig and go get one. That would be awesome if you could pull it off. They do have a big bill, normally equal to the length of thier bodies. Would they attack you? I would say unlikely, run for the depths? Yep. Ill be the first to congratulate you if you get one. Good luck.
FreediveSniper said:
Would they attack you? I would say unlikely, run for the depths? Yep.

Can I ask what youre basing that assesment on? I've never come across a Swordfish, but a mate works on a charter boat and recently spent some time fibreglassing over the holes a Swordfish put into it. Apparently the fish objected to being hooked on a lure. :confused:

I'd hate to think what an annoyed Swordfish would do to a diver. :hmm

Has anyone ever swum with a Swordfish?
When its caught on a line and held up against the transom by the leader there not much else a sword can do besides strike boat. Take a close look at the transom of a good marlin sportfish boat and you'll see the same thing. Many of the captains keep these battle scars as a sign of experience. You dont want to be the guy with the shiny unscratched stern around the many of the docks.
Id go in with one for sure and Ive been face to face with large billfish many, many times.
Thanxx Everybody

Your input has really helped, Still take some time to prepair everything... If anyone knows a book about billfish it would be helpfull... I have found some books about billfihs but mainly about fishing it from a boat... If anyone has any advice on the rig it would be welcome.... How much bouys I should use.. They seem to be super strong so need lots of flotation.

again thanxx really appreciate the help..
I wouldn't spear one. I think its just too dangerous. Its my understanding that some of those holes that they put in boats are not the result of struggling after being leadered, but because they just charged the boat.

I read one time about a swordfish that had been harpooned by one of our commercial guys here in Southern California. After towing buoys around for a few hours it was near the boat when a mako approached it and got cut in half by the bill.

Lots of guys shoot marlin, but I've never heard of anyone shooting a swordfish. I think there is a reason for that.
My opinion is that it's a really remarcable feat if any diver can pull it off.
I saw a picture once of Renzo Mazzari, now retired 3 time World Champion, with one a long time ago off Maiorca but it was very small. I have another picture of an old timer in a magazine who speared one in the 60's in Italy with one of the first commercially available mid handle airguns.

My impression is that yes it would be dangerous as hell, especially trying to place a shot into a big sword, but there are many other divers who have been at this sport for a while that given the opportunity of a lifetime would take it me included. Of course unless I thought I could stone it I would hold off. Just a couple words of advice to the wise: Shoot it going-not coming. We'll be holding our fingers crossed for your safe and succesful return. Also, practice shooting plenty of other big fish first too so you have an idea of what to expect. It's like catching a blue marlin on a fishing rod for the first time after fresh water fishing for walleye, it could kick your ass.

ps- nice pictures Angelos - Seeing a fish like that u/w would be something to tell a story about I reckon.
Hey look-Bill McIntyre's on Deeper Blue now, welcome the worlds most prolific Internet spearo to Deeper Blue! I think you'll like our attitude here Bill.

why not jump to the boat as soon as you shoot it and let the floats do the work for ya? If everything goes bad, e.g floats could not hold it but you will be still not "pierced" :hmm
that sounds like cheating murat :hmm

if you're just going to jump in the boat after it has a shaft in it why not just troll for one and save yourself getting wet at all? rofl
Im with Murat, in fact being a scouser I would do the deed then tie it to someone elses boat and retire to a safe distance untill its dead :D