Clearly everything is bigger in Texas, including the swordfish.
The crew fishing aboard the Booby Trap landed a 493-pound swordfish last week. This pending state record fish measured 107 inches. The crew was fishing 100 miles off the Texas shoreline at the backend of a three-day trip.
"We were using rigged squid that had just arrived from Baitmasters of South Florida," Bryan Barclay, the angler who reeled in the fish, told OD Outdoors. "The squid was soaking near the bottom in 1,711 feet [water] when it was slurped up."
Barclay battled the sword for about four and a half hours. He was using an 80 Shimano spooled with hi-vis orange MoiMoi Diamond braid. And it took a team effort to pull in the fish--Captain Jeff Wilson and the rest of the Booby Trap crew did their part to support the fatigued Barclay.
"He stayed on that fish. He fought hard for four hours in the hot sun," Captain Jeff Wilson told KTRK. "We had fans on him, we were drenching him with water, you name it, anything to keep him going. We cheered him on, egged him on, so to speak."
Wilson said the fish initially weighed 500 pounds, but lost some of its weight after being put on ice. Even at 493 pounds, this swordfish is still more than enough to shoulder aside the previous Texas state record of 341 pounds from 2011. The current IGFA all-tackle world record is a 1,182-pound swordfish caught in Iquique, Chile in 1953.
The Booby Trap fishing team is no stranger to catching swords. The Surfside, Texas-based group of anglers caught 172 swords in 15 trips last year, according to their website. Their largest swordfish is a 650-pounder caught in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The crew releases about 90 percent of their catch, according to BD Outdoors. Brett Holden, Bobby Trap's owner, told BD Outdoors that his crew only tries to take fish in bad shape. He said they knew the fish was gut hooked once they examined it boatside at the end of the trip.
"We have had about 15 swords in this size class, but we either passed the rod, or it was too early in a four day trip to kill one of this size and try to keep it whole and cold," said Holden. "For this fish, it just all lined up."