On March 29, captain Matt Pelphrey, left, Ray Woody and Art Brown found themselves in a fight with a 344-pound swordfish. After hooking the beast at 1 p.m., the crew battled for eight hours, traveling more than 21 miles before putting their prize in the boat. The fish measured 148 inches from lower jaw to tail fork. CONTRIBUTED

Not that anyone truly forgets, but sometimes it’s good to get a reminder: there’s a reason the Florida Keys are widely regarded as the sportfishing capital of the world. Over the last week, the Marathon Weekly received several submissions from individuals and crews who landed the catch of a lifetime after battles with powerful species. Break out the tape measure and call the taxidermist – these are true trophies.

This 66-inch, 97-pound amberjack was the trophy of the day on March 29 for Jude Harrison, who visited his family’s home in Marathon for his senior year spring break. “It took him an hour to get it in the boat,” his mother Rhonda told the Weekly. “What a way to spend a spring break!” RHONDA HARRISON/Contributed
The third drift was the charm for Noreaster Sportfishing as they hooked a massive swordfish on April 2 while 30 miles off the coast of Marathon. After a six-hour inch-by-inch fight, captain Nick Borraccino sealed the deal with a well-placed harpoon. The fish measured 93 inches from the lower jaw to tail fork, with an estimated weight of just over 400 pounds. Pictured, from left: Blake Donahue, Kira Mann, Josh Mann, Borraccino, Frank Ottolino, Kyle Franz. HARLIE FALZONE/Contributed
Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.