Fishing Information

Reviving Billfish

Last summer we had an unfortunate incident with a swordfish we brought to the boat.

It was about 8:30pm and we had been set up for about 45minutes when we had our first bite, the second balloon at 150' baited with a dead squid started to scream. My brother Rocky was on the rod and the instant he pushed the drag up to strike, which on our rods is set at 25-30lbs of drag, the fish stopped and Rocky cranked the fish in effortlessly. Less then five minutes later we had a small swordfish boat side. We couldn't see the hook and since this fish was brought to the boat so quickly we didn't want to put this green fish through any trauma. Rocky handed me the pliers and I clipped the leader as close to the swordfish's mouth as possible. The swordfish kicked away and seemed to be fine, then less then a minute later on the other side of the boat we spotted the swordfish belly up. We pulled in the drift anchor and moved the boat to the swordfish. Rocky grabbed its bill and brought it along boat side. I put one engine in gear and Rocky held the fish's bill underwater in the hopes of reviving this small swordfish. After a minute or so of attempted reviving, the swordfish just became even more copper colored, stiff and lifeless. We realized there was no hope of reviving this fish so we brought him in the boat. Once he was in the boat we inspected the fish and the hook which we decided to cut was just a little bit inside the corner of its mouth and not bleeding what so ever. Since this fish was brought to the boat in minutes and received no trauma from the fight or from us upon release made us believe that this fish must have had heart failure.

Incidents like this are rare, especially when the fight time is kept to a minimum. But, they do happen and it reminds us that even though we are conservation minded and try to practice good catch and release, there is always a chance that a caught fish will not survive after being released.

There are many things we as fisherman can do to try and ensure a healthy release for any billfish we catch. For one, whenever we get a green billfish to the boat which we are planning on releasing simply cut the leader as close to the fishes mouth as possible and as quickly as possible. Holding any large billfish along boat side is one of the most dangerous things we can do in the sport of fishing. When a mate leans over the gunwale to hold a boated billfish, especially on a boat with high freeboard, he or she can seriously injure themselves and the fish. Billfish struggling along boat side often damage their eyes, bills and gills banging against the side of the boat. This is why simply cutting the leader as close to the fish's mouth, is much safer for the fish and the people on board.

Any attempt to remove the hook from a billfish can do much more harm then good to the fish. Poor attempts to remove the hook from a struggling fish can cause sever bleeding and bruising to the fish. So, unless you have a smaller billfish at the boat and you can clearly see that de-hooking the fish will be an easy task due to where the hook is placed, simply cut the leader as close to the fish's mouth as possible, it will have a much better chance of survival.

In the event you try and de-hook a smaller billfish, attempt to de-hook the fish while its head is underwater. Once a billfish's head is above water it will violently thrash its head.

When you are about to release a billfish if it's not struggling to get away, is not lit up and has a copper color, grab the fish's bill holding the bill and the fish's head under water then put the boat in gear so water will run through the fish's gills. Once the fish starts to kick on its own or starts to struggle, gently let go of the bill and let it swim free.

Never consider a billfish dead, always try to revive the fish as it may just be exhausted from a long battle or unconscious from lack of water (oxygen) running through its gills.


Captain Vinnie La Sorsa
Swordfishing & OffShore Charters.

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at

Capital Public Radio News

Salmon Prices Could Rise If Officials Shorten Commercial-Fishing Season
Capital Public Radio News
For the third year in a row, the salmon industry in California is expecting a major blow, wildlife managers announced last week. The reason? Drought and warmer ocean temperatures have reduced the number of Sacramento River salmon expected to swim back ...

and more »

BBC News

Brexit: Michael Gove shares fishing industry 'disappointment' - BBC ...
BBC News
The UK will regain full control over the country's fishing waters for the first time in 40 years after December 2020, Michael Gove has insisted. The environment secretary said he shared the "disappointment" of fishing communities who hoped this would ...
Brexit Bulletin: Fishing for a
Gove tells Tory MPs to 'keep eyes on prize' in row over fishing ...The Guardian
Michael Gove calms Tory rebellion brewing over fishing quotasThe Times
Sky News -The Scotsman
all 43 news articles »

Bass Fishing opens the door for education while enjoying the Outdoors
Not just floating around, but casting out and hoping to catch some fish. Bass fishing is a growing sport in the Midlands. Tony Gray, the Executive Director of the SC Lower State Tournament Trail, says fishing and education are closely intertwined. Gray ...

Midland Daily News

Cold temperatures slow spring fishing
Midland Daily News
The Department of Natural Resources reports that the return of cold temperatures and snow has slowed down fishing again. Walleye, pike and musky season closed on all Lower Peninsula inland waters on March 15. Walleye and pike season is open all year on ...
About Fishing: The ethics of fishingPark Rapids Enterprise
The one that got away is usually more entertaining than the real thingFresno Bee
More than the fishFergus Falls Daily Journal

all 5 news articles »

Trout stocking: Pennsylvania trout fishing 2018
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission delivered brook, rainbow and golden rainbow trout today at Children's Lake in Boiling Springs, Cumberland County. The fish were raised at the Huntsdale Fish Hatchery. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's ...

and more »

Fighting illegal fishing -- ScienceDaily
Science Daily
Researchers explore an alternative pathway to fast-tracking the global recovery of fisheries.

and more »

Colorado fishing licenses available now, valid April 1
“Colorado provides outstanding fishing across the state with an amazing diversity of species ranging from cutthroat trout and kokanee to walleye and bluegill,” said Doug Krieger, CPW's aquatic section manager, in a news release. “Fishing is a great ...


How data scientists are leading the fight against illegal fishing
The Galapagos Marine Reserve is unbelievably vast, and is home to a unique biodiversity. Beneath its warm azure waters, you can find countless rare and exotic species of whale, shark, sea turtles, tropical fishes, and more. To protect this natural ...


Resolution Games reveals AR fishing game Bait! Under the Surface
Resolution Games scored a hit with its Bait! virtual reality fishing game on the Samsung Gear VR in 2016 and the Google Daydream in 2017. Now that VR has gotten a little icy, Resolution Games is moving into the warmer waters of augmented reality. The ...
Resolution Games Ports Popular Fishing Game from VR to Augmented RealityNext Reality
Popular VR Fishing Experience Bait! is Getting an AR MakeoverVRFocus

all 5 news articles »


Coast Guard assists fishing boat near Trinidad
TRINIDAD- A late night call for help from just west of Trinidad sends the Coast Guard to find a disabled 100-year old boat. Two fishermen on the “Radiant”, a 40-foot commercial fishing vessel, radioed at about 11 Monday night, citing electrical and ...
Coast Guard Towed 100-Year-Old Fishing Vessel With Propulsion Issues Safely to ShoreRedheaded Blackbelt

all 33 news articles »

Google News

home | site map | Ocean Photography
© 2006