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Swordfish, Xiphias gladius

Irish Record Fish: not recognised
Caught: not reported
Boat Specimen: not recognised
Shore Specimen: not recognised
Photo Credit:

Pedro Miguel Niny

Introduction: Now you think I am pulling your leg when I tell you that these are swimming during the summer and autumn in Irish waters, but there is an ancient name for them in the Irish language (Colgán) indicating a knowledge of them in times past and since they do migrate from sub-tropical waters into colder waters during the summer to feed, this fits with the possibility of catching one.  Certainly they have appeared on commercial fishermen's docks, albeit very rarely.  With the advent of longfin tuna fishing off Co. Kerry and other west coast ports, we have no doubt that it is only a question of time before someone gets lucky.  They grow to 650 kilos (over 1000 lbs) and up to 4.5 metres (13 feet) long, and although considered oceanic in nature, they have been caught by rods from charter boats in coastal waters all over the Atlantic ocean and further afield around the world..

Boat tactics: This is big game fishing and if you are not equipped for blue fin tuna fishing, unless you hook a juvenile, you can forget it.  A fast and furious game fish, it is highly prized but would appear to be available too far from shore for our P3 or P3a licenced charter boats.  Their range is limited to 25 and 40 nautical miles respectively and there is no larger boats operating out of Ireland currently.

Shore tactics: Dream on!