The Biggest Swordfish Ever Caught (Over 1,000 lbs!)

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Published: January 16, 2023
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Swordfish are large predatory fish with an interesting appearance. They are unique and found in extremely deep depths in the ocean. It’s hard to imagine one swimming right next to you because of its sheer size, but swordfish rarely attack humans. The few attacks were provoked and didn’t lead to death. Still, you probably don’t want to mess with a swordfish.

Are you ready to learn just how large these fish can get? Keep reading to discover the biggest swordfish ever caught. A little hint for you: it weighed over 1,000 pounds!

About Swordfish

Animals with large eyes – swordfish

Swordfish have a long pointed, flat bill that looks like a sword.

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Swordfish are a very popular fish for anglers. Their populations are currently recovering from overfishing. Not only do people fish swordfish for fun and sport, but also for making delicious dishes. The fish are oily and have large amounts of methylmercury. The United States Food and Drug Administration does not recommend women trying to get pregnant, young children, and pregnant women to consume the fish. When they are sold for consumption, they’re sold as grilled steaks. Swordfish don’t live long lives, but scientists are unsure of the maximum amount of years. The oldest swordfish studied was a 16-year-old female.

Size and Appearance

These unique fish are particularly known for their strange appearance and size. For example, unlike other fish, they have a long pointed, flat bill that looks like a sword. It’s sharp, and swordfish use it to pierce through their prey, making it easier to hunt. Interestingly, female swordfish are larger than male swordfish and reach maturity between four and five years of age. They also have special organs near their eyes that heat their eyes and brain, helping them see clearly underwater.

Other than their appearance, swordfish are also massive! On average, a mature adult swordfish easily reaches 10 feet long. However, some reports have found swordfish that measure over 14 feet long. They are also heavy fish, weighing up to 1,430 pounds.

Diet

Although they have a long bill, often called their ‘sword,’ they don’t use it like a spear. Instead, they slash their prey, leaving them weak and vulnerable before killing them. However, when they feel threatened, swordfish will lunge at their predator with no fear. Most swordfish consume large squids, some types of octopus, and many species of fish like Northern anchovies, Pacific hake, and mackerel. Swordfish also typically eat at night and are aggressive. They aren’t schooling fish and avoid other swordfish by about 35 feet or more.

Predators

These aggressive fish have few predators. Instead, juvenile swordfish are easy prey for larger animals like sharks, sailfish, marlins, and mahi mahi. Larger adults are only hunted occasionally by the orca, but it’s rare because of how aggressive swordfish fight back. Humans are the biggest predators, catching them for competition and food.

The Biggest Swordfish Ever Caught

Fastest Water Animals

The biggest swordfish ever caught weighed 1,182 pounds.

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Are you ready to discover the biggest swordfish ever caught? On May 7, 1953, Louis E. Marron was fishing with his wife, Genie, in Iquique, Chile. They were fishing on Flying Heart III, skippered by Captain Eddie Wall. In just two hours, after the giant fish struck a trolled bonito, he reeled in the largest swordfish caught on record: a 1,182-pound swordfish. To catch this gigantic fish, he used a Black Palm rod and 12/0 Fin-Nor Reel with a 39-thread Cortland Super Cutty line. More than six decades later and it’s still the IGFA All-Tackle World Record.

While this has been the largest swordfish ever caught in the world, there are other impressive records. For example, Jeff Jacobs caught an impressive 393-pound swordfish on the coast of Ocean City in Maryland. Another state record was awarded to Stephen Stanford on May 7, 1978, when he caught a 612.75-pound swordfish in Florida. The U.S. overall record is 772 pounds, as verified by the International Game Fish Association.

Where Is Iquique Located on a Map?

Iquique is a coastal city in the region of Tarapacá in northern Chile. It is situated on the Pacific coast and west of the Pampa del Tamarugal, part of the Atacama Desert. The city is around 1,150 miles north of Santiago and 196 miles south of Arica.

Where to Find Swordfish

Swordfish are found worldwide, especially in tropical and temperate waters. They also live in the cold waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. These large fish are powerful swimmers, sometimes surpassing 60 mph. Catching a swordfish is not easy. They are powerful and don’t tire quickly, so it can take professional anglers hours of patience to find and reel a large swordfish. It’s important to consider your equipment and ensure your fishing pole is strong enough to withstand the pull of a swordfish. On top of your fishing pole, choose a weighted but flavored lure/bait. Squids are common, but they are easily torn and fall apart.

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © bekirevren/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Nixza Gonzalez is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics like travel, geography, plants, and marine animals. She has over six years of experience as a content writer and holds an Associate of Arts Degree. A resident of Florida, Nixza loves spending time outdoors exploring state parks and tending to her container garden.

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