Monday, September 3, 2012

Lady angler lands first swordfish on Miss Behavior

Angler Heather Leman with her crew Glenn Collier and son
Heather Leman is the lady angler who dares to target swordfish, a fishery that requires fishing at night far out into the offshore waters of S.C. The oceanic conditions were perfect on Friday August 31 for a depwater run and Leman used her 23-foot Palmetto named Miss Behavior as the platform to transport herself and two crewmembers almost 90 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Her twin Yamaha 150's were armed with a full fuel load of 150-gallons. They departed Charleston at 6:30 p.m. and also hauled 500-pounds of ice with them, which others joked was way too much, but Leman planned to troll for meatfish once the Saturday sun graced the surface of the sea. She would never get that chance! They arrived at the fishing grounds about 10:15 and put out only two lines, baited with cut squid. The lucky line was fished 400-feet down with a circle hook the terminal tackle. Not long after, at 11 p.m. the billfish ate the bait and Leman's thoughts of taking a nap were dashed since she became engaged in a three-hour battle royal with a feisty swordfish. "I use an Avet 50 reel with 50-pound test and this fish really tested it, almost spooling me once, and each time it got close to the boat it began jumping and thrashing," said Leman. Finally at 2 a.m. the swordfish had tired and crew Glenn Collier and his son helped by using two gaffs to haul the swordfish over the side of the boat. Leman reports that she has a piece of rope pre-measured at the minimum legal length for keeping a swordfish and that this fish clearly exceeded that test. The swordfish far exceeded the cooler too, sprawling across the back of the boat. ALL of the ice was needed to cover the swordfish, thus preserving the flesh that offers a high value of table fare. It took Leman only 30-minutes more to make the tough decision that the rest of the fishing trip would have to be scrubbed, and they headed back to port. Finding a friend in Stan Jones, who runs the scales at the Charleston Harbor Marina, the Miss Behavior weighed their trophy swordfish in at 140.8-pounds. The rest of their Saturday morning was spent trimming filets from their swordfish, which Leman has since dined on and shared with friends. Leman is a regular fixture on the saltwater tournament trail around Charleston. This was her first swordfish, but not her first billfish since she previously released a sailfish.
Leman shows off her trophy swordfish shortly after fight

To view past blog entries about swordfishing click here.

Iced down swordfish aboard Miss Behavior
To view past blog entries about lady angler Leman click here.

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