Three days ago an angler aboard Capt. Peace Marvel's boat battled a massive swordfish for nearly four hours before losing it at the boat.
While that was disappointing, the veteran Venice offshore guide made up for it June 21 when Slidell angler Vladimir Kamenov landed a 214.8-pound swordfish that should rank No. 5 in the Louisiana State Fish Records.
The big fish was hooked yesterday between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. near the bottom in more than 1,000 feet of water about 23 miles out of South Pass as the crew was targeting swordfish with squid. The swordfish was gaffed about 1.5 hours later, Marvel said.
Marvel, who runs PeacKeeper Charters out of Venice Marina, said it didn't take long to figure out they had hooked a sword, despite the deep depths at which they were fishing.
"You don't always know it's a swordfish, but we were pretty sure this one was a sword because about three minutes after Vlad hooked it it came out of the water like a rocket," Marvel said. "That fish turned and pointed straight up — it's tail was probably 6 feet in the air."
The catch came during a Father's Day trip with Marvel's family, on which Kamenov tagged along, Marvel said.
The captain said that first jump told the story of the fish's size.
"Swordfish don't always get long," Marvel said. "So what you look at is the base of the tail — they get fat, is what they get.
"And the base of the tail was as big as my thigh."
One of the major challenges involved with landing a swordfish is keeping it buttoned up during jumps. And Kamonev's fish seemed intent on making it as difficult as possible.
"That fish jumped about five times," Marvel said.
It put on that aerial show during the minutes after being hooked, and the swordfish even came to the boat very quickly. The fish was leadered minutes after the hook-up, but then it changed tack.
"We got him to the leader after 30 minutes, and then the next time we saw him was when I gaffed him," Marvel explained.
The catch still has to be accepted by the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association, which keeps the Louisiana State Fish Records. Barring any problems, the fish will move into the No. 5 slot ahead of a 211.35-pounder caught in 2005 by Charles McIntyre Jr.
The No. 1-ranked swordfish on the state record books was caught in 1980 by Tom Dentin and weighed 310 pounds.