Florida Angler Becomes First Person To Catch A Swordfish From A Sea-Doo

swordfish fish eyeball up close

iStockphoto / lillophoto

Florida-based angler Emmanuel Williams just made history as the first person to ever catch a swordfish while fishing from a personal watercraft (PWC), when he brought his Sea-Doo to Venice, Louisiana for the fishing trip of a lifetime.

JetSki and Sea-Doo fishing is extremely popular in South Florida and parts of Hawaii where anglers can quickly run offshore in their personal watercraft and catch massive fish without needing a larger boat. But Emmanuel Williams is official the first person to ever pull up a swordfish from the depths and in doing so he’s added his name to the annals of fishing history.

Emmanuel runs a fishing channel on YouTube named ‘iBelongOutdoors‘ with 37K subscribers. He has a much larger following on Instagram with 143K followers from the fishing community.

When the 23-year-old from Miami shared pictures of the first swordfish ever caught from a Sea-Doo the fishing world was blown away by this fishing record nobody even realized was ripe for the takign. He posted the pictures after catching the fish on August 23rd:

Williams followed up his viral photos with a YouTube video of his record-setting swordfish Sea-Doo catch:

Emmanuel Williams was joined by Captain Sebastian Noel on the fishing trip. And according to Morgan Lyle of Sport Fishing, the two Sea-Doo fishermen synced up with Venice, Louisiana-based Capt. Blake Rigby who provided the local knowledge required to pull off this amazing feat.

In order to catch the 100-pound swordfish, they sent a 12/0 J-hook with a squid down to a depth of 1,400 feet. Williams says he was fishing with 60-pound braid and a 250-pound test leader while using a Shimano Talica 50 and a Check’n Bottom custom rod.

In the video, the Emmanuel reflects on being the first person to ever catch a swordfish from a Sea-Doo. Saying “I was pretty anxious and really wanted to get this fish. After a couple hours of waiting morale got a little low, but we ground it out, and then we got that bite and cranked down on that fish. I was super excited to be locked in battle with this fish.”

Sebastian was the gaff man on his nearby boat. Emmanuel got a second gaff into the fish. And he says after the second gaff hit the fish everything went sideways.

He said “I followed up with the second gaff, and then the fish realized what was happening and went absolutely ballistic — thrashing its bill, swinging its tail non-stop, and literally pulling the Sea-Doo in circles.” He added “And then that was it. We definitely rejoiced. We were all very happy. As far as I know this was the first swordfish ever landed on a PWC, and it was documented.”

First Ever Swordfish Caught From A Sea-Doo … But Why?

Having spent my entire life fishing and having grown up in Florida, I’ve noticed patterns over the years. When someone catches the ‘fishing bug’ it hits like a lightning strike and never goes away, but their actual passions and goals in fishing certainly change over time.

This is entirely anecdotal, but the people in my life who have been into Sea-Doo fishing were previously into spearfishing, and before that they were either fishing from the docks/bridges/piers or grew up with a boat. It’s almost as if the natural progression of a fisherman’s journey is to find new and exciting ways to catch either the same (species of) fish or new fish entirely.

In my case, I’ve made it a goal to travel regularly and catch new species around the globe. But I have friends here in Florida who go full bore in spearfishing, the same guys I used to hit the snook lights with every night during Summer when we were growing up.

All of that is to say, Emmanuel Williams could be fishing from a boat if he wanted to. He said exactly that. His words were “I could definitely get a boat if I wanted to. But then explained why he chose to fish from a Sea-Doo and become the first person to ever catch a swordfish doing so.

Saying “the first time I ever fished offshore was on a PWC. I just fell in love with the process and the challenge. It’s another kind of connection with the water, and it’s more intimate. There’s definitely more of a challenge to it. Just the weather — PWCs can handle super rough weather, but it’s a lot when you’re mixing weather with fishing. Space is a thing — you can’t bring a whole arsenal of rods. But in other ways, you kind of have an advantage, because if I happen to see, say, a school of tuna, I can roll up on them more quietly than a boat could.”

‘Space is a thing’ for most of us, to be sure. There are plenty of people out there with boats costing over $5 million who could pack as many rods as they could use in a lifetime. But fishing from a Sea-Doo gives him advantages he’d never have on a boat. He can move from spot to spot quicker. He can maneuver easily. And he’s certainly spending less on gas than a sport fishing boat or center console.

There are drawbacks of fishing from a Sea-Doo to be sure. But clearly it’s working for him as he’s out there making history as the first man to ever catch a swordfish from a Sea-Doo while others are chasing billfish from clunky boats with electric rods doing all the work.