Sample Research Paper On Recreational Sword Fishing
Recreational fishing is different from commercial fishing. In recreational fishing, fishermen do it for pleasure rather than for profit as in commercial fishing. Fishermen will compete either for sport or just for fun. Recreational fishing is done in the open water (salt and fresh) using baits, hooks, lures, flies, rods, reels and so on. Recreational fishing may be conducted from boats and rafts (Pitcher, 57). Swordfish is one of the most common fish sought for recreational purposes. Given the many dangers involved in recreational sword fishing, authorities have put in place several regulations that act as a minimum safety measure (Junger). These dangers may vary, among others, from accidents to pollution to over fishing.
Basic regulations on recreational fishing
Swordfish is the most important recreational fish around. They are also a species that could well be endangered in the next 15 to 20 years. As such, we need to regulate their habitat and manage their usage whether it is for recreational or commercial purposes. The most important and basic of these regulations is acquiring the necessary licenses (Oystein, 79). The license fee may vary from State to State and may also depend on the type of fish that one wants to catch. Under certain regulations, there is the aggregate limit for a combination of fish species allowed per person per catch. Most States prohibit the transportation of live fish from one body of water to the other without a special license. They also prohibit the use of live fish, other than those listed as baitfish as bait. It is also illegal to use a spring gaff or spear gun for fishing. Selling fish caught for recreational purposes is also not permitted by some States. It is also illegal to take fish by any other means other than by use of a net, angling, spear, bow and arrow, or bait fish trap (Pitcher, 83).
Daytime Sword fishing
This is the most common recreational fishery. Most fishermen like to sport at this time of day. Procedures to follow include:
Use enough weight
Since sword fishing is a deep water fishing endeavor, you need enough weight to get down. This may be as deep as 2000 feet. The materials used may include concrete, lead metal, or even steel (Gaudin et al, 56)
Watch the “sword”
It’s important to learn to differentiate a sword fish strike from other movements. Given the depth of the fishing, learning this technique could be the difference between success and failure. There is also a small window of opportunity from when fish bites bait to when it releases it. Quick reaction time is a major asset here. There is a steep learning curve for this exercise so endurance leads to experience which leads to perfection (Bramson 76).
Place your bait correctly
Since we have established that sword fishing takes place between 2000 to 2200 feet, it’s important to know where your baits have been dropped. You also have to keep monitoring the baits all the time so that you may not miss when the fish strikes. Experience is key here (Bramson 79).
Use a firm bait
Swordfish usually attack bait several times before engulfing it. Therefore, you need a firm and durable bait to catch them. This can be achieved by sewing the bait (Bramson 80).
Type of bait
The type of bait used in sport fishing is different from one used in commercial fishing (Unkart, 76 ). All fish are fragile and that includes swordfish. Use bait that will not mutilate the fish when it’s hooked up. This kind of bait will need to be replaced after every strike and hence you should have enough supplies. Remember, not every strike leads to a catch so you may need several strikes to end up with a catch. Some of the baits used to catch swordfish are bonito bellies, dolphin stripes, dolphin bellies, dead squid, split mullet and so on.
Fishing, as in real estate, is depended on location. Irregularly shaped base contours are good fishing grounds for swordfish. This is because the water current sweeps over these bottom mounds creating cross currents. Swordfish like to ambush bait round about this location (Unkart, 78).
Night-time sword fishing
Fishing at night is a very complicated and challenging endeavor. It is an experience that many recreational fishermen consider an epic journey that must be undertaken at a certain point in life. In addition to the techniques learned under day time Sword fishing, a few more equipment and techniques must be mastered before one can embark on this epic challenge (Bramson, 45).
The first requirement is the obvious one. At night you need light to be able to see. There are many kinds of lights on the market and one should invest in durability and intensity. You also need a sword light. Swordfish is sensitive to light and are drawn to certain colors. Lights to use during night fishing may include, but not limited to LP electrolytes, bioluminescence, hydra glows, Duralite diamond flashers and so on (Pitcher, 38).
Anchors help to keep your boat in a steady position. They stabilize the boat during heavy currents as they act as brakes (Pitcher 43). They work by increasing the drag through the water, thereby keeping your spread organized.
Swordfish gear and tackle
Swordfish is usually very dangerous and unpredictable fish. When threatened, they execute their attacks with ruthless efficiency. There is therefore need to wear protective gear. They may include bamboo shirts, spinning reels, drag reels, bandanas and so on (pitcher, 43).
Unlike daytime sword fishing, night time sword fishing requires multiple rods. This is because it’s very difficult to catch swordfish at night and hence your chances of a catch are high when you deploy several rods. The rods used must be strong and comply with sporting ethics and customs (Bramson, 50) .
Fighting Belts and stand up harness
These gears will help to support you while drawing the fish out of the water. It is important to remember that the fish will be fighting for its life, hence a strong support is needed. Accidents are very common at this stage (Unkart, 61).
A wind-on leader is used in night sword fishing. This helps to bring the fish to the boat without much stress. Night vision is not as clear as daytime so this equipment is a must have for safety and efficient purposes. Choose a leader that is durable and efficient (Unkart. 91).
In recreational fishing, electric reels are not permitted (Bramson, 34). Reels with ratchet handles and those that are designed for use with both hands are prohibited. This is because recreational fishing is about sport and sport is about competing. When shopping for reels to go sword fishing at night, look for extra strength with durable frames.
How to catch a swordfish at night
It is one thing to write and talk about sword fishing and another thing to actually land one, especially at night. This can be a nerve wrecking experience and hence one should remain calm and in control. Swordfish is dangerous and getting them on the boat quickly may still pose a threat. Be alert at all times to avoid unnecessary injuries or, in most cases, losing your catch. When sword fishing at night, it is imperative to use your good judgement and be responsible for your own safety (Junger, 53). Swordfish can be very unpredictable predators and are one of the few fish whose swimming skills are unrivalled (Gaudin, 67). Moreover, there are other different kinds of predators in the open sea who can attack without notice. Therefore protective gear, being extra vigilant and, in case of first time fishermen, bringing on board an experienced sword fish fisherman could be the most important asset.
Aas, Oystein. Global Challenges in Recreational Fisheries. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2007. Internet resource.
Bramson, Dara. Insiders' Guide to Miami. Guilford, CT: Insiders Guide, 2011. Internet resource.
Gaudin, Charline, and Young, C. De. Recreational Fisheries in the Mediterranean Countries: A Review of Existing Legal Frameworks. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2007. Print
Junger, Sebastian. The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Man against the Sea. London: Fourth Estate, 2010. Internet resource.
Pitcher, Tony J. Recreational Fisheries: Ecological, Economic, and Social Evalation. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, 2007. Internet resource
Unkart, John. Offshore Pursuit: A Guide to Fishing Atlantic Blue Water. Edgewater, Md: Geared Up Publications, 2006. Print