Swordfish

Swordfish are the only species, Xiphias gladius, making up the Family of marine fish Xiphiidae. Swordfish get their name from their long, flat, sword like bill which like a sword is mostly used in a slashing rather than stabbing fashion. Swordfish grow to a maximum recorded length of 179 inches and weight of 1433 pounds (2001 IGFA record caught off south Florida coast). Like most billfish female swordfish grow larger than males.

Swordfish are a widely distributed, highly migratory species. There appear to be separate populations inhabiting the Mediteranean Sea and tropical Atlantic Oceans with little genetic exchange between the two. In colder waters swordfish spawn during the warmer spring months. In warmer waters, including off the south Florida coast swordfish spawn year round. Swordfish have a population doubling time of 4.5 to 15 years. Stricter regulation of commercial harvest has increased the Atlantic swordfish population. The state of the southern Atlantic swordfish stock is now classified as "Fully Exploited," indicating it is believed to be sustainable at current levels under current regulations and conditions.

Swordfish feed mostly on pelagic fish and squid, having been observed to slash through schools of prey then turn to eat their stunned catch. Although cold blooded swordfish are one of the very few species of fish with organs which warm their large eyes giving them exceptional vision. Swordfish are known to feed at a wide range of depths from the surface to the bottom.

The average size swordfish catch is now 50 inches long and 90 pounds in weight. Even an average size fish puts up an exceptional fight and swordfish are considered by many the most difficult of the billfish to catch. We run both daytime and nighttime trips targeting swordfish out of both Key west and Miami.

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