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Trip Report 2013 – “Make You Famous” Swordfishing Trip

Capt. Brett Holden’s BOOBY TRAP 52’ Viking Express

By Joshua Graves


Photography by www.boobytrapfishingteam.com

The Booby Trap headed out Thursday at noon on July 11 for the three-and-a-half day “Make You Famous” swordfishing trip. A guy from Richmond, Texas put up the winning bid of $17,000, with all of the proceeds going towards Everyday Heroes. The crew consisted of Brett Holden (Capt. Ahab), Capt. Jeff Wilson, first mate Capt. Matt Reed and the team’s videographer “Miles.” The anglers for this trip were Taylor Blair and Brett Holden’s daughter, Chelsey Holden, who is no stranger to big game fishing.

The girls were fired up! Taylor was the first one in the chair and nailed a 150-pound swordfish after a one-hour battle. Then Chelsey stepped up and caught a small sword which was released after a 40-minute fight. With the sun failing, one more drop was made which led to Taylor catching and releasing a nice 80-pound swordfish.

The night bite was a little slow with one mako shark hooked and a 80-pound sword caught by Chelsey. A good pile of blackfin tuna was also jigged up from under the lights.

The next day resulted in one nice swordfish reeled in and released after one drop. Brett, Jeff and Matt had been telling Taylor, Chelsey about a grouper and tilefish spot they had really been catching them on just a few miles away, so the days plan changed with huge smiles. With Taylor on one side of the boat, and Brett and Chelsey on the other side, they deep-dropped with LP-S1200 electric reels to catch singles and doubles of big tilefish and grouper.

After talking with John that evening, Brett decided to make a 30-mile move to target bigger swordfish and get away from the heavy weekend boat traffic. The ones the girls had been catching were nice, but after releasing 23 fish over 200 pounds on the previous 30-sword trip just a couple of weeks ago, they had to give this same area a shot once again.


Photography by www.boobytrapfishingteam.com

He took the rod to the chair and the fight was on. Brett, Jeff and Matt thought the swordfish was going to be in the 400-500 pound range the way she was fighting. The big daytime fish was hooked in 1730 feet of water and it wasn’t long before we had all the line back on the Tiagra 80. Brett started to wire the leader but the swordfish then found its strength, took the leader from Brett, and stripped approximately 2000 feet of line without stopping, straight to the bottom and then at an angle, raced back to the surface. The swordfish jumped behind the Booby Trap, disrupting the slick calm day with a white water splash. The sword was getting tired now and so were we. After all, it had been three long hours hand-in-hand with the big broadbill.

Once the swordfish was boat side the crew was amazed. After being pulled in the boat, it was estimated to be a shocking 275-300 pounds, despite fighting like a Nickle (500 pound class fish). What a powerful fish! Brett and Jeff just scratched their heads and Matt started to laugh.

Taylor and Chelsey asked if they could catch more grouper and tilefish so that’s exactly what happened. The crew picked up and ran three miles out to another drop and the two teams limited out on yellow edge grouper and big golden tilefish. With the rear fish box full, everyone called it a day and got some much-needed rest.

The next morning, the girls both decided they wanted to catch more swordfish! The boat ran six miles to the closest daytime swordfishing spot and the bite was on. A total of five swordfish were caught in four hours, with three different anglers finishing off the 10 swordfish trip on the last day.

Photography by www.boobytrapfishingteam.com

It was a pleasure to have them on this trip. These two did a fine job fighting the big swords and never gave in for a second.  Brett’s daughter, Chelsey Holden has been fishing offshore her entire life and did a stellar job on this trip as well. The Booby Trap Fishing Team is looking forward to having a repeat trip with this same group in the future!

The trip was a great time with great folks for a great cause!  Dan Mathews of www.matthewsart.net donated one of his hand-painted bills to the winner of this trip and I am pretty sure Taylor will be getting a nice trophy to stick on the wall!  A special thanks goes out to all the great sponsors of the Texas Swordfish Seminar and everyone that supported and attended for the last three years. Hope to have them all back for the 2014 Seminar /Everyday Heroes Benefit!

You can keep up with the Texas Swordfish Seminar by visiting www.Boobytrapfishingteam.com for sponsorship info, dates of the event or just to view the site.  

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