On August 23, Emmanuel Williams became the first person ever known to catch a swordfish from a jet ski, a feat he swore to his friends four years ago he was going to achieve. The undertaking was captured on video and uploaded by Williams to his YouTube channel, iBelongOutdoors.
To fulfill his dream, he and his friends headed down to Louisiana. The day started long before daybreak at 2 a.m. Williams, Capt. Sebastian Noel, his fishing partner, and his videographer Tyler Fischer headed out from Venice, Louisiana. Williams rode his jet ski about 50 miles offshore and into the Gulf of Mexico. Noel and Fischer followed along on a charter boat captained by Blake Rigby, an area guide and experienced sword fisherman.
Williams and company began by rigging up squid baits. Then Noel joined Williams on the jet ski, dropping their lines in 1400 feet of water. From there, it turned into a waiting game.
Williams said, in the video, that they were a little worried after three hours. But soon, their patience paid off: The pair saw the tell-tale sign of the swordfish hitting the bait with his bill. Some slack in the line and a slight dip, and the pair knew they were in business.
From there, it was a battle to reel the swordfish in.
Williams cranked on the rod until he ran out of steam, handing it off to Noel. After Noel couldn't battle it out any longer, he passed the rod back to Williams' who was able to keep cranking until the swordfish surfaced. Now came the really tricky part- getting the fish onto the jet ski, and the ocean was not on their side.
The seas became rough, and the jet ski bobbed in the middle of the water. With Williams holding the rod, Noel gaffs the swordfish. Williams takes the opportunity to put his rod in the holder and place another gaff in the thrashing fish. The anglers were ecstatic.
William's fish is the first documented swordfish catch from a jet ski. However, there is no official way to know if he is truly the first in history. Fishing governing bodies aren't currently tracking this type of fishing. He said, to his knowledge, he and Noel are the first to pull this off. And what a magnificent catch it was.
"Alright, guys, there you have it. First ever swordfish on a PWC (Personal Water Craft) ... first time ever on the planet," Williams said in the YouTube video. "We got ourselves a beautiful broadbill swordfish right here."
Noel chimes in, "And you don't need a big boat to get it done."