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PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida – Sea monsters exist. Just ask Jennifer Cameron.

On April 16, the Stuart, Florida angler caught the biggest swordfish of his fishing career, weighing in a giant that tipped the scales at 436 pounds.

Cameron fished with her husband, Captain Glenn Cameron, who owns Florida fishing charters moored at Sailfish Marina in Stuart, Florida, and companion Nick Cremasco.

Catching an almost quarter-ton brute like a swordfish is a challenge in itself. To do it while struggling with a temperature of 102 degrees is completely another thing.

“I didn’t feel so good that day, a day after receiving my second Moderna vaccination” for COVID-19, she told TCPalm | Treasure Coast Newspapers, which is part of the USA TODAY Network. “But we had to catch a fish, so I left. After sailing I could feel my fever, I got into the cabin and wrapped in a blanket and slept on the boat ride to the marina.

Why did she need to catch a fish?

The reason they fished in the first place was because Cameron is one of the main organizers of the Black Gold Jubilee, an annual spring festival and charity fundraiser celebrated at Torry Island Campground in Belle Glade, Florida.

One aspect of the event is a fish fry. Cameron wanted to catch a fish big enough to feed dozens of participants, so targeting a swordfish would have served that purpose.

Mission accomplished.

“Sometimes we are criticized for keeping such a big fish and not releasing it. But we literally provided around 300 pounds of nets to use for the fry and to provide clearings for families who needed fresh fish, ”she said. “We only kept a few small pieces for our family.”

She was also able to educate people about the difference between swordfish and marlin, a similar-looking fish whose harvest is strictly limited in US waters and which is not sold as food fish here.

How she almost lost the swordfish

Catching this sword almost did not happen, her husband said. The fish were apparently hooked to the dorsal fin – not the mouth.

“We were straight out of St. Lucie Inlet in 1,650 feet of water and using the bonito belly as bait,” he said. “On our first drift, we bit but the fish came off pretty quickly. So we stopped, ran south (updraft) and started our second drift. As soon as Nick put the lines back, I turned my head. and when I looked at the buoy it was gone. “

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