We spent 15 minutes on the phone with commercial fisherman, Cory Burlew, to discuss deep drop lures for swordfish in southern Florida. Here's what we found out...
Location: South Florida
I fish for just about everything, and found out about your lures a couple of years ago. Some of my friends were using them for tuna fishing, and I decided to try it swordfishing. I have had great success with your 18 inch eel, but have kept this information to myself. It seems that these days if you don’t say anything, you don’t get the recognition for using new methods of fishing.
Approach: (For fishing along the gulf stream) Current flows to the north, face north and begin dropping. Every 100 ft stop for a moment to allow slack to catch up to drop. At 600′ turn the boat around to face south and drop quickly. Once you hit bottom, pick up the bait 100′ – 150′. Some days they are very tight to the bottom 30′ -50′ down. Other days they are up 150′ – 200′.
Rigging Selection: XXX-Strong 9/0 Custom Tandem Rig
Bait Selection: Hogy 18inch Swordfish Eel Series
Why This Bait? The elongated shape and serpentine action of the Hogy 18inch Original mimic deep water eels, squid and other strange fish inhabiting the black depths.
Colors: Black and Bone Glow
Retrieve: The 18inch length and allows the bait to swim naturally while hanging in the gulf stream current. It will hang horizontally in the current with the tail slowly swimming, much like unsuspecting prey. It’s advised to soak the bait for at least 10 minutes in a fish oil scent before making a drop. Menhaden oil works just fine for this. Drop the Hogy 18inch Original down as you would with a rigged squid and begin your drift. Strikes will often happen as you drift into or just pass bottom structure.
Durability and efficiency: When day time dropping for swordfish, each drop takes a considerable amount of time and effort to present properly. Most days only 5 – 7 good drops can be made, so each one needs to be executed perfectly and with confidence. The rigged Hogy 18inch has very little chance of spinning or tangling on the drop when done correctly. The baits durability is also very apparent, as 2 – 3 swordfish can be caught using the same rig and bait before it needs to be replaced. This is a great way to save time and money, while catching more fish.
Rod: Custom 6′ Bent Butt 50-80lb Class Rod. A lighter tip is better for seeing a bite and also reduces pulled hooks.
Reel: LP S-1200 Series Lindgren-Pitmen Electric Reel
Line: Power Pro 80lb
Leader: 45 Yards 250lb top shot to 300lb bite tippet