NEW ENGLANDERS LAND
167 POUND SWORDFISH
When Bob Preble and Michael Reeve, a couple
of saltwater fly-rodders from New Hampshire, visited
Buena Vista Beach Resort on Baja’s East Cape, the last
thing they were thinking about was a nearly 7-hour fight
with a large swordfish. But that’s just what they got.
On May 22, fishing with Capt. Ramon Tamaya
and mate Teodoro Araiza aboard the hotel’s cruiser Tres
Hermanos, the guests were looking for striped marlin,
dorado (mahi mahi), tuna, and other flyrod-friendly
fish. That’s when they spotted the swordfish slowly
finning on the surface of the calm Sea of Cortez.
With discretion being the better part of
valor, they stowed their flyrods and “baited” the swordy
on conventional gear.
The basking behemoth took the bait and the
game of tug-o-war was on!
The fish was hooked at 12:23 and finally
gaffed and brought over the boat’s gunwale at 7:14 p.m.
It weighed 167 pounds.
Preble, from Hampstead and Reeve, from
Exeter, New Hampshire shared the chore of fighting the
fish on striped marlin-size rod and 40-pound test line,
so there was no world record possibility; but what a
story of aching backs, pulled muscles and dogged
determination by two New Englanders.
“This was the third swordfish hooked and
landed at the hotel in 2007,” said Buena Beach Resort
sales and marketing director Axel Valdez.
“Sometimes we get one sword, some years two
or three and sometimes we don’t get any. But this is
definitely the earliest in the summer season we have
landed three. Who knows . . . maybe there are three
more out there?”
For Reeve, a retiree, and Preble, a software
engineer, this was their first trip to Mexico, although
they had fished all over the U.S. and as far as Costa
Rica for sailfish on a flyrod previously. “I can’t give
enough credit to Ramon and Teodoro. A number of times
the mate held the rod straight down to avoid the prop .
. . and Capt. Ramon eventually lashed a boat hook to the
gaff to make it long enough to get beneath the fish,” he
The billfish was brought near the boat, but
rested some 4-feet below the surface and couldn’t be
budged on the relatively light gear. “It was just too
deep to gaff and too strong for us to get any closer.
The fish was definitely in control,” said Reeve.
In a show of gratitude, the anglers gave
half the fish to the captain and mate, about one-fourth
to the hotel and shipped one-fourth home on ice.
Prior to their swordfish experience the duo
had taken roosterfish, yellowfin tuna and other species
on a fly.
“The swordfish was,” said Reeve, “an