Swordfish: Xiphias gladius


A rather unique billfish, with a flattened bill formed from an elongated upper jaw. It has a single high dorsal fin and one keel on each side in front of the tail fin.


Deep sea fish found from the surface down below 2,000 feet. They are heavily overfished internationally.


Swordfish over 200 pounds are generally females and tend to migrate to the surface at night, when most drift fishing occurs.

State Record:

612 lb 12 oz, caught near Key Largo

Fishing Tips and Facts:

Fishing at night for swordfish often involves the use of chemical or other lights and heavy 8/0 to 11/0 hooks drifted with balloons to help detect the strike.

Additional Information:

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
Gar and bowfin, or mudfish, have specially adapted swim bladders that allow them to gulp air at the surface when oxygen levels are low.

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