Swordfish: Xiphias gladius


  • Back is typically dark brown to purple, fading to a lighter belly
  • Long, wide, flat and sword-like upper jaw
  • First dorsal fin is very high, rigid and short
  • Single keel on each side of caudal peduncle
  • Lack pelvic fins, scales and teeth
  • Eyes large

Size: Up to 15 feet (1400 pounds)


Deep sea fish found from the surface down below 2,000 feet. 


Swordfish over 200 pounds are generally females and tend to migrate to the surface at night, when most drift fishing occurs. Feed primarily on fishes, but may also consume invertebrates.

Additional Information

State Record:External Website  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.

Heavily overfished internationally.

Recreational Regulations

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles

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