Booby Trap’s Make You Famous Swordfishing Trip

Make You Famous Swordfishing Trip on Capt. Brett Holden’s BOOBY TRAP 52’ Viking Express

By Joshua Graves

Taylor left Chelsey right Booby Traps Make You Famous Swordfishing Trip

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The Booby Trap headed out Thursday at noon on July 11, 2013 for the three-and-a-half day “Make You Famous” swordfishing trip. John Duffy of 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 John Duffy, his daughter, 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.

DSC 8549 Taylor on leftBrettChelsey and John Booby Traps Make You Famous Swordfishing Trip

Taylor Blair, Capt. Ahab, Chelsey Holden and John Duffy, pictured from left to right.

The next day resulted in one nice swordfish reeled in and released after one drop. Brett, Jeff and Matt had been telling Taylor, Chelsey and John 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 John and 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.

It was John’s turn on the rod. The girls made it clear that John had to sit through one of these swordfish battles this trip.  No matter what John said they were determined to get him in the chair. The first drop was the one; a big sword was hooked and after seeing it jump, it was estimated to be around 450-500 pounds. Unfortunately, the hook was pulled after a few minutes. The next drop, using the same expert daytime swordfishing techniques perfected by the Booby Trap Fishing Team, resulted in another great fish. John has caught several swords in the 200-400 pound range on the Booby Trap, but this one was going to fight harder than any of them! The sword wacked the BaitMasters squid once, then wacked it again. With each wack John started reeling up, but Brett yelled “Drop it!” John gave the bait back to the sword and soon yelled “I’m Tight Sucka!”

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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 John 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 was John. 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. John grabbed about three cold drinks and retired to the air-conditioned helm.

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.

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Photography by

John Duffy, as before, was a pleasure to have on this trip, as well as his daughter Taylor. 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 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 for sponsorship info, dates of the event or just to view the site.  

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