Kayak Angler Lands Swordfish in Northern Gulf of Mexico

Fishing 70 miles offshore in 1,600 feet of water, an Orange Beach, Alabama, kayak angler hooked and landed a small swordfish

Chris Vecsey of Orange Beach, Alabama, accomplished something last week that very few anglers have managed to do. Some 70 miles off the Alabama coast, Vecsey dropped a strip bait down to 1,600 feet from his kayak, hooked and ultimately caught (and released) a swordfish.

While the angler admits the pup was no monster, he can now notch the catch of a broadbill unaided from a kayak. He counts it as a start, now determined to land a serious sword from his Ocean Kayak Trident 13.

70 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico this kayak angler lands a small swordfish
It’s a start! says angler Chris Vecsey, who hooked this small sword 1,600 feet down from his kayak. Now he’s gunning for its mama. Courtesy Chris Vecsey

To make the run to the swordies’ hood in deep water, Vecsey enlisted the help of his friend Capt. Adam Peeples whose One-Shot Charters (also on instagram) is based in Destin, Florida. (Peeples is a past Top Charter Captain of the Year in Sport Fishing’s annual contest.)


Vecsey says to fish swords out there from the kayak at night seemed a rather reckless and scary proposition. “Daytime made more sense and with our success rate here in the northern Gulf, and it also presented me the best odds,” Vecsey says.

Chris Vecsey fights swordfish from kayak 70 miles out
While Vecsey plans to hook a much bigger broadbill, he hopes on a cooler day: An hours-long battle on a calm day in 93-degree heat would have been tough. Courtesy Chris Vecsey

Vecsey employed a Penn Fathom 60LD two-speed reel with 1,100 yards of Berkley Pro Spec braid and a 60-foot 100-pound fluoro leader top shot. Vecsey, who works at Sam’s Bait and Tackle in Orange Beach, cut off the reel seat and butt from a Star Paraflex rod to replace it with an AFTCO unibutt ferrule to accept a short, bent butt. The rig, Vecsey adds, worked perfectly.

His first three fish from those depths weren’t swords but pomfrets to 20 pounds.


Fortunately, Vecsey’s little sword wasn’t attacked near the yak by a mako shark, since they’re fond of doing just.

Chris Vecsey lands swordfish from kayak 70 miles out
A bucket-list smile for the angler. Courtesy Chris Vecsey

Although conditions were initially unfavorable at best, with rough seas and pop-up showers, Peeples made the run and soon after they reached the grounds, things improved, though the August heat was brutal.

Vecsey already has plans to get back out on his green kayak, now certain he can land a big one from his kayak.