I was thoroughly familiar with this part of the program and its cadence—or lack thereof. The swordfish fight is part of what draws me to them. No two hookups play out the same way. Sometimes, the fish will power to the surface in minutes, which is why the angler needs to gather line quickly, and then they’ll dump the reel on their way back to bottom. Other times, they will skulk in the depths for an hour or more until the angler is able to winch them toward the thermocline, so the truly crazy stuff can begin. Swords jump, which is when many fish are lost. They might charge the boat, initiating a mad scramble by the crew, or they might swim topside, seemingly just to get a look at the boat and its occupants before plummeting once again, which is just plain bizarre behavior for any fish. This fish, my fish, played it relatively straight for an hour and a half. It came up, then just as quickly beelined it toward bottom. We gained leader twice, only to give it up again, and then finally we saw deep color on the fish below the surface. The bout was nearing its end. I was thoroughly exhausted.