Swordfish are among the toughest big game fish to swim as young Rachel Olander just found out. She was soaking a dead mackerel on a circle hook 60 feet down over a 1,200-foot drop called “The Spur” off Destin, Fla., when the big fish ate. An hour into the fight the fish finally showed itself confirming Capt. Donnie Brown’s early comment that this fish had definite shoulders. “I didn’t realize just how big it really was,” Brown said.

Rachel is a fit marathon runner. Still, the fight was epic. The fish was hooked at 3:30 am. It finally came to gaff 7-1/2 hours later at 11:00am.

Donnie Brown raced his 55-foot Hetteras See Ya back to Destin’s Harbor Walk Marina where it pulled the scale down to 363 lbs. before an awe-struck crowd.

Angler Rachel is the daughter of Doug Olander, editor of Sport Fishing, part of Outdoor Life’s magazine family. Her fish was taken on a Daiwa Saltiga rod fitted to a Daiwa MP 3000 Power Assist Reel spooled with 150-lb. Daiwa Dendoh Braid. Although the reel has automatic winching capability, Rachel elected not use the feature. She chose to crank manually all the way.