Jack Philip poses with a 460-plus pound swordfish, which took roughly two-and-a-half hours to reel in. DIRTYBOAT CHARTERS/Contributed

DirtyBoat Capt. Kit Carson Mobley was all but 15 minutes away from calling an end to a swordfish outing roughly 26 miles off shore with six on board. The waves were stacking up and daylight hours were dwindling. 

A prayer from crewman and Mobley’s friend, Jack Philip, of Washington State, however, subsequently led to a bite and a fight from hell for mate Jose Boza. An initial surfacing by the swordfish had those on the boat believing the swordfish was in the 200- to 300-pound range. Two-and-half-hours later, the DirtyBoat out of Robbies of Islamorada had a 460-plus-pound swordfish on an Islamorada Swordfish Baits rod, with gear that included a Lindgren-Pitman SV-1200 electric reel from Tackle Center in Islamorada. 

“We were tight,” said Mobley, who was watching it unfold behind the wheel. “We didn’t know how big the fish was until we got close. She was swimming up and down and not fighting us just yet. She didn’t fight until she was 800 feet off the boat.”

Several harpoon shots ensued once the swordfish came close to the boat. When the head appeared, Mobley said they knew they had close to a 500-pound fish. Mate John McConnell hit the swordfish with the harpoon as they fought for another 30 minutes

“The harpoon line was flying out the bucket like crazy. She was a mean fish,” Mobley said. “She’d come up and fight the waves. She was going with the current. We were drifting with that fish for 3 miles.”

It took the men aboard roughly seven minutes to bring the swordfish onto the boat. Then the high-fiving and a celebration began. 

“It was a gift,” Mobley said. “We were thankful.” 

With the swordfish caught, the DirtyBoat embarked on a three-hour ride to Bud N’ Mary’s Marina in Islamorada to weigh the monster swordfish. It came in at 463 pounds. 

“I’ll be lucky if I see a fish like that again,” Mobley said. “It just goes to show there are some true sea monsters.” 

Some 400 pounds of meat was cut off the swordfish — 114 pounds of it shipped back to Washington State for Phiilp, family and friends to enjoy. Artist Lisa Lee Herman, owner of Islamorada’s Gallery of the Arts, made several prints of the rail, while Gray’s Taxidermy was making a mount.

Those on board the DirtyBoat, based out of Robbie’s of Islamorada, next to a 463-pound swordfish, which was weighed at Bud N’ Mary’s Marina in Islamorada. DIRTYBOAT CHARTERS/Contributed
Jack Philip, left, and mate Jose Boza next to a 463-pound swordfish caught roughly 26 miles off Islamorada on Jan. 7. DIRTYBOAT CHARTERS/Contributed
Jim McCarthy is a Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, mixed martial arts and golf. He loves to hit the links and play some softball with his Make A Play team. He also enjoys time with family and his new baby boy, Lucas, who arrived Oct. 4, 2022.