How long is a swordfish trip?
A swordfish trip averages 9 – 10 hours. Typically we leave at 7 am.
If we don’t catch a swordfish is the trip the same price?
Yes, I don’t charge you any extra for bringing your bad mojo on my boat.
What is a customary tip for the crew?
15-20% of the charter price is a customary tip.
What if we have bad weather the day we are suppose to fish?
I hate people telling me a week out it looks windy for the day they are suppose to fish. Usually we can get a somewhat accurate weather report about 3 days in advance. We usually fish up to 15 – 20 knot winds, but once winds hit a sustained 20 knots that’s usually when we call it. If it’s too windy to swordfish sometimes we can fish the reef or do different style of fishing that is easier in rough sea conditions. It’s up to you (the customer). If there are thunderstorms in the forecast or on the radar we can do our best to avoid them, but sometimes we do cancel trips if there are a lot of storms offshore.
Here is a link to the 5 day noaa marine forecast for Islamorada.
Where is the boat docked?
We fish out of Bud n’ Mary’s Marina in Islamorada, Florida Keys.
79851 overseas hwy
Where should I stay if I’m fishing with you?
If you want to be close to the action we have a number of accommodations right at Bud n’ Mary’s Marina. Including motel rooms, houseboats, and two small houses.
What do I need to bring on the charter?
You need to bring what you want to eat and drink. I will have a cooler onboard with ice. If you have a small/medium size cooler you want to bring with your food/beverages that is fine too. You can bring foul weather gear if you want/wind breaker. You should bring sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses too.
Can I keep the fish if we catch one?
Yes, we will fillet the fish for you too.
What is the limit on swordfish?
Swordfish have to be 47” from the lower jaw to the fork of the tail. The bag limit is 1 per person. However, we vary rarely keep more than 1 – 2 fish per trip. The last few years we have been tagging and releasing a lot more fish, especially if we already have a keeper onboard.
Can we fish for other fish besides swordfish?
Yes, but obviously the more time you dedicate to swordfish the better your shot is. In the late spring, summer and early fall we catch a fair amount of mahi coming and going to the swordfish grounds, and even sometimes when we are drifting for swordfish. Blackfin tuna run the same time as well. We can do some “deep dropping” for bottom fish on the way in and out many days as well. Certain species have better seasons and some have closures for certain months. Common deep drop bottom fish are blueline tilefish, snowy grouper, yellowedge grouper, barrelfish, queen snapper, and rosefish.
How many rods do we fish for swordfish?
Usually we fish 1 – 2 rods.
Do you use manual or electric reels?
We have both and it’s completely up to you.
Can we mount the fish if we catch one?
Yes. We work with Gray Taxidermy, who is the largest marine taxidermist in the world! I even have a big swordfish mounted in my home. If you don’t want the entire fish mounted and just want the bill we can clean the bill and have an artist either draw or paint a scene on it for you.
Where do you swordfish?
We drop baits down deep near the bottom on the continental shelf in 1400 – 1800’ of water. The shelf is an average distance of 25 nautical miles from shore in the Keys. If we fish off Islamorada we run 25 miles, if we fish south or to the east we may run 35 – 45 nautical miles.
When is the best time to fish for swordfish?
We catch swordfish 12 months a year. They are a very difficult fish to pattern and every year is a little different with regards to success during different times of the year. As a generalization I would say we see our biggest numbers of fish in the fall and winter months, our biggest size fish on average in the springtime (although we have caught big fish every month of the year), and our best weather and most bycatch is in the summertime. We have had great trips every month of the year as well as slow trips, the bite can turn on and off overnight, and I know you won't catch one on the couch.
What is the average size of a swordfish?
Our fish average 40 – 150 lbs.
How many fish should we expect to catch?
Any day you catch one swordfish is a good day. We have averaged around 1 fish per trip the last five years. We have plenty of days with 0 fish but some days we catch multiple fish. That is why it’s always a good idea to book a multiple days.
Can we freeze and ship our fish home?
Yes, we work with a local company that can professionally vacuum seal any fish and ship it anywhere in the USA with dry ice. They can also vacuum seal the fish and freeze it so you can take it with you on the plane or in the car.