Catch of the decade!

Liam May

IN a rare find while fishing yesterday morning, two men could not believe their eyes when they caught a 45.6kg swordfish in the Swartkops River.

Simon Notshulwana and Neville Plaatjies were fishing for bait when they made the extraordinary discovery.

What they initially thought was a shark after seeing the large bill sticking out of the water was a broadbill – more commonly known as a swordfish.

“We were stunned. We just could not believe our eyes,” Plaatjies said.

The catch is a rare occurrence in the river as this species of fish is usually found in the deep waters of the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The swordfish is widely regarded as one of the strongest fish in the ocean and has the perfect physique to “brawl” with big game anglers.

It took the fishermen about 15 minutes to haul it out of the water.

It weighed in at 45.6kg and was 2.5 metres long. This is the first time a fish of this size has been seen or captured in the Swartkops River area.

Marine biologist and research associate at Bayworld Dr Matt Dicken said what made this discovery all the more surprising was that the “iconic” fish species was generally hunted at night as they were so hard to come by during the day.

“It is possible that this broadbill was suffering from illness, had been injured or its health had been compromised, causing it to end up so close to the shoreline,” he said.

The two men have been fishing in this area for years now and have never caught anything this size.

They have decided to make some money by selling the fish.

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