Florida's fishing opportunities are endless, but some species more than others really lend themselves well to thrill seeking anglers. Sam says that some of the most thrilling fishing out there is for swordfish. They call it the gladiator of the sea, he says, and it's not an exaggeration as they are the meanest, baddest, hardest fighting fish out there that are also great to eat. Some of the best swordfishing in the continental United States is off the coast of Florida. Fishing in 1500 to 1800 feet of water, Sam says anglers will need almost 3000 feet of line out and a 10-pound weight to get to the bottom. All day long you stare at a rod tip and watch for subtle bounces to indicate a bite and you never know whether you'll hook a 50-pounder or 500-pounder or whether you'll hook anything at all, he says. When fishing you always want to understand a fish, its habits, how it feeds, what it eats, and more, Sam says, but the challenge with swordfish is that they are rather mysterious. They get your heart pumping and often require a team to catch, he says, and it makes it all the more exciting.
As a professional fishing guide, Sam says often the most difficult part of the job is figuring out exactly what kind of an experience a client is looking for so he can best deliver that for them. Florida is great for anglers because of its diversity in species and how accessible every kind of fishing is. Some anglers are out for trophy fish, others are out to catch dinner and others are just out for a good time. Once he's figured out what a client wants to do, he then has to determine what their skill level is. Some fish just require more skill to catch than others. Sam says when it comes to offshore fishing it's often not as technical and it can be broken down to a simpler form that makes it easier for anglers of any skill level to take on. Something like catching big snook in the river requires an angler to have a certain amount of capability in order to catch and being able to determine a person's skill and capability can make a big difference in the overall success of a trip. When people go out with a guide they are at their best, Sam says. They don't go with a guide because they have to, they go because they want to and that's a great feeling, he says, to have people out with him enjoying the experience. The fishing trips that viewers see Sam embark on while watching "Florida Sportsmen Watermen", they themselves can experience. As the guide at Down Sea Charters, Sam says those kinds opportunities are available to all anglers that he guides.
Be sure to watch "Florida Sportsmen Watermen" on Sportsman Channel, Sundays at 8:30 a.m. ET.