2.5-Hour Combat With a 500-Pound, State-Report Swordfish

Willow Bee Crew and Potential New North Carolina Report Swordfish.
Courtesy Joshua Meakins

Brandon Carney, 33, headed his 32-foot Contender boat “Willow-B” offshore on August 21 from Beaufort Inlet, NC, to start out a day that nobody will quickly overlook.

The deepwater goal was swordfish, and the boat crew of Stephen Beaman, Joshua Meakins, Justin Meakins, Shelley Carney and Carrie Carney had been all up and prepared for the problem.

“We stopped in 1,300 toes of water and dropped our bait, however there have been no takers, so we moved to a brand new location at 10:30 and despatched an albacore stomach on a ten/0 hook with a shiny skirt, Carney says. “We had been 50 to 60 miles out, rigged up 100 toes utilizing an 11-pound weight to get it deeper.”

Usually the swordfish will decide up the bait and tickle it frivolously earlier than beginning a battle. However Brandon says this fish slammed its bait and pulled a 26-pound reel drag and screamed on a run prefer it was nothing.

The fish was hooked up to an electrical fishing reel designed to be pressed into service, however a defective fuse would trigger the reel to not operate. So, Brandon’s father, Carrie, swung into motion and commenced a brutal 2.5-hour battle reeling, cranking, and preventing the most important fish any anglers had ever seen.

“The fish by no means jumped and after about half-hour, Dad introduced it to about 20 toes of the floor and we may see how massive it was,” says Captain Brandon. “We pulled an 11-pound weight off the road, then the swordfish got here again to life, going deeper and deeper and deeper, pulling the 65-pound check line with it.”

The identical 26-pound drag strain remained on the fish and the carry cranked and cranked and cranked.

The fish battle lasted 2.5 hours, through which the boat was pulled and drifted for about 12 miles. Lastly, the enormous swordfish got here up, hovering over 4,000 toes of water, and now anglers had to determine how you can get it into the boat.

“It wouldn’t match by way of our open tuna door, so we introduced it to the tail first, turning the physique in opposition to the hull,” Brandon says. “We put a rope round its invoice, then hoisted it onto the T-top body, then hoisted it into the boat. It took us about an hour to determine how you can get it into our Contender, after which put it that manner. ,

Anglers swung the fish across the boat’s console from the strict, packed it in 100 kilos of ice, and commenced working again to Beaufort Inlet.

giant nc swordfish
The large sword weighed over 500 kilos.
Courtesy Joshua Meakins

In keeping with Brandon, about 90 minutes later they arrived on the Portside Marina, the place the fish had been pulled out of their boat with a fork raise, measured and weighed on licensed scales.

The huge swordfish weighed 504.4 kilos, with a circumference of 53 inches and a size of 104 inches from the decrease jaw to the fork of the tail. The sword’s spectacular beak was 47 inches lengthy.

A regional swordfish match was underway on the time, however the crew of “Willow-B” (named after Brandon’s daughter Willow) weren’t entered or would have received the occasion.

The present North Carolina document swordfish is a 441-pounder (1979 off Wrightsville Seashore by Horace Murray), so their fish would simply eclipse that mark.

His catch has been offered as a potential state document for North Carolina swordfish, and officers are reviewing it to find out whether or not the catch was truly made by way of recreation and never utilizing an electrical reel. which might disqualify it.

“We have now nothing to cover, and my dad did an ideal job preventing the fish,” Brandon says. “We have now filed all of the paperwork with the state and have supplied to check it to indicate how legitimate the catch is.

“We’re thrilled to have caught that fish and hope to be a part of a document catch.”

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