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What is it about the anatomy of the swordfish that enables these fish to be reeled up from depths 1500ft+ and are able to be released safely and swim right back down to the depths they came from. Unlike other fish that can't adjust to the sudden change of depth and have their eyes bulging or stomachs inside out making catch and release impossible on them.
 

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I have heard that some swords hooked in deeper water have been known to run straight to the surface from 1800ft in under 10mins! A normal bottom fish at this rate would come out of the water with its stomach protruding from its mouth as a result of its gas bladder expanding. I'm not totally sure if they have a gas bladder or not, but they can adjust to pressure change extraordinarily. Even without a gas bladder, a fish would still be affected by pressure, just not as much, and they will be able to pressurize much faster.
 

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Brain Heater

Swordies have a special tissue mass located off their eye which heats and insulates the eyes and brain. Blood is supplied to thesurrounding tissue through a specialized vascular heat exchanger, similar to the counter current exchange found in some tunas and marlin. This helps prevent damage to the brain as a result of extreme vertical descent or ascent in the water column. The eyes and brain are thus insulated from the rapid cooling which occurs at depth.(Florida Museum of Natural Ichthyology)

I believe the ascent from 1600 plus feet has been documented much quicker than 10 minutes, and from experience they can certainly sound MUCH quicker.


The deep scattering layer is what many believe the swordfish mimic, sinking to the depths during the day and rising each night. The largest migration on earth.

This post edited by capndom 09:37 PM 02/07/2008
 

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my uncle runs a 51' betram called the Katie P out of West Palm and is an avid sail fisherman but has tried the day swordies during the day once or twice with no real success yet. but his buddy who is an old salt down there had a fish in close to 1900 feet of water on the electric reel within only a couple of minutes of trying to keep up with the fish it was already on the surfice greyhounding in the distance. this captain has caught many swords and many large blue marlin and estimated this fish to be atleast 500lbs. needless to say they lost the fish only 11 minutes into the battle because the electric reel could not keep up with this massive sword and its beline for the sufrace and its freedom.
 
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