Fishing Saltwater Fishing

Watch: First Ever Swordfish Landed from a Jet Ski in the Gulf

Emmanuel Williams and Capt. Sebastian Noel made deep-sea fishing history by hooking and landing a 100-pound swordfish from a 12-foot Sea Doo
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video jet ski swordfish
Capt. Sebastian Noel (left) and Emmanuel Williams hold up the roughly 100-pound swordfish they caught from Williams' jet ski. Tyler Fischer / via Facebook

Around four years ago, Emmanuel Williams told his friends he would become the first person ever to catch a swordfish on a jet ski. And on Aug. 23, his oddly specific and unconventional quest came to an end. Standing astride a 12-foot Sea-Doo roughly 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, he and his fishing partner, Capt. Sebastian Noel, landed a 100-pound swordfish and made deep-sea fishing history. The 23-year-old from Miami uploaded a video of their catch to YouTube over the weekend.

“Words can’t explain how much this catch and experience means to me,” Williams wrote in an Instagram post. “I’m fully committed and dedicated to my craft, and I will continue to push boundaries and complete the unthinkable.”

Williams explained that to his knowledge, he and Noel are the first anglers to pull off this “unthinkable” feat. But since there are no governing bodies tracking these “firsts”, it’s hard to say with absolute certainty that it hasn’t been done before. With that disclaimer in mind, there have been multiple examples of anglers catching marlin and other billfish from jet skis, but there are no records online of any angler landing a swordfish from such a vessel.

Catching a Swordfish from a Jet Ski

Their mission began at 2 a.m., when Williams set out from Venice, Louisiana, and throttled his jet ski out into the Gulf of Mexico. He ran about 50 miles offshore, following Capt. Blake Rigby, a local guide and experienced swordfisherman who led the way in his charter boat. Noel and their videographer, Tyler Fischer, rode along on Rigby’s boat until they reached the fishing grounds.

After rigging up a few squid baits, Noel hopped on Williams’ jet ski, and they dropped their lines into roughly 1,400 feet of water. Then they waited.

“I was pretty anxious and really wanted to get this fish,” Williams told Sport Fishing Magazine. “After a couple hours of waiting morale got a little low, but we ground it out, and then we got that bite and cranked down on that fish. I was super excited to be locked in battle with this fish.”

video jet ski swordfish catch
Williams traveled from Miami to Louisiana to complete the historic feat. Tyler Fischer, via Facebook

Williams fought the swordfish until he ran out of gas, and then he handed the rod off to Noel. Noel soon handed the rod back to Williams, who kept cranking until he got the swordfish near the surface. Now that they could see the fish glowing in the water, they prepared for the trickiest part of the battle.

With the swells building and their jet ski bobbing in the middle of the Gulf, Sebastian stretched out his arms and gaffed the swordfish. Williams placed his rod in the rod holder and followed up with another well-placed gaff. The anglers hollered and cheered as the swordfish thrashed against the jet ski, but by that point, the battle was over. History had been made, as best as he can tell.

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“Alright guys, there you have it. First ever swordfish on a [Personal Water Craft] … first time ever on the planet,” Williams says in the video. “We got ourselves a beautiful broadbill swordfish right here.”

“And,” Noel adds at the end, “you don’t need a big boat to get it done.”