The day started out with an hour and a half drive from Broward County to Islamorada. My friend Chris and I met up with his cousin and uncle at the boat, appropriately named ‘Size Matters’, located behind Vic’s Auto. Thanks to Vic for letting Chris (Captain and boat owner) keep the boat behind the shop for the weekend. The weather finally laid down, and off to the Sword grounds we went. An hour into the first drift we got our first bite, the fish was short and was released to live another day.
We set up for the second drift and got our second bite, this one was legal and went into the cooler.
During our third drift around 1:15pm we got our third bite. The reel did not move much. I thought we were hung up on the bottom. An hour and a half later when the swordy broke the surface of the water we could not believe our eyes. Two hours later, the fish was getting close to the boat, she ran towards the back, then turned and ran towards the front and went under the boat. At this point, the rod took a strange bend and snapped in two. Now we were fighting the fish with a broken rod. Watching the braid cut into the tip of the rod was very unnerving. If that wasn’t bad enough, watching the leader shred across the top of the broken rod was worse. She would get 56 feet from boat and back out to 350 feet. She would do this for the next hour or so. Four and a half hours later somehow, against all odds, we managed to get her to the side of the boat. Shout out to Nick Stanczyk for helping us with the official weight of 485.5lbs, 100 inches legal measure with a 55-inch girth. She was literally our fish of a lifetime.
Thanks to the Size Matters team and work of Chris Koulouvaris, Marc Siegel, Vasilios Manolis and Harisis Manolis.