Get Tight Sucka! Texas Swordfish Seminar

Texas Swordfish Boobytrap Everyday Heroes

The “Get Tight Sucka! Texas Swordfish Seminar” had one of its best years in 2013. The seminar aims to raise money for the charity Everyday Heroes. The Everyday Heroes is a nonprofit organization that focuses on getting US veterans transportation to and from medical appointments and more, even wheelchairs and wheel chair ramps to their homes. One of the main highlights of that success was the “Make You Famous Sword fishing Trip” with the Booby Trap Fishing Team that was auctioned off.

I met Brett, the captain/owner of the Booby Trap, 2 years ago. After deciding the event was a worthy cause for me to donate time to, I volunteered to help. I ended up getting several donations and coming down a day early to help set the raffle and auction items up in 2012. This year I became more involved and started helping with the event in early February. There are countless hours of phone calls and face-to-face meetings with the sponsors and the great people that donate the items to help make this event happen. I have been fortunate enough to fish aboard The Boobytrap several times and the trips are always amazing to be a part of.

This trip was donated by Holden Roofing and the Booby Trap Fishing Team. The trip was auctioned off and the winning bidder for the second year in a row was John Duffy of Richmond Texas. The trip was for 2 people to join the Booby Trap Fishing Team on a multiple day swordfishing adventure, departing Surfside Marina, fishing 100 miles off the Texas coast with the main goal to target daytime and nighttime swordfish. The trip went for just under 17,000.00 and 100 % of all the proceeds went to the Everyday Heroes. The Seminar is held at Surfside Marina, and presented by Brett Holden and the Booby Trap Fishing Team. This was the 3rd annual Texas Swordfish Seminar. With the help and promotion of BD Outdoors online magazine the seminar has grown into the largest sworfishing seminar in the world. The first year in 2011 approximately 500 fisherman attended to learn how to catch and target swordfish from the best in the world, Brett Holden and the Booby Trap Fishing Team. In 2012 attendance was over 1200 people and in 2013 an estimated 2000 plus fisherman from around the US and even other countries attended the Texas Swordfish Seminar. The event has raised around 500,000.00 in 3 years with 100 % of the proceeds going to the Everyday Heroes.

The Booby Trap is a 52′ Viking Express owned and operated by Brett Holden AKA “Capt. Ahab” with crew Capt. Jeff Wilson, Capt. Travis Joyce, and newest member Capt. Matt Reed. The Booby Trap Team has set the bars worldwide in swordfishing. The team has pioneered daytime swordfishing in the Gulf of Mexico and redefined techniques ,perfecting them in many ways. Brett Holden and his crew have set the bars in numbers that may never be tapped worldwide with record catches like 2- 21 swordfish trips 2012, a 30 swordfish trip recently in June 2013, 10 different trips produced 10-14 daytime swordfish in one day.

The team has logged over 800 swordfish total and has caught right at 250 swordfish in their last 50 straight trips. The team has now been focusing on conventional tackle records more and started out by weighing the new Texas State Record of 494 lbs. this past June 2013 when caught by guest angler Bryan Barclay a Swordfish Seminar Sponsor this which was Bryan’s first sword.

The Booby Trap Fishing Team releases most swordfish caught on their trips but does bring a few to the dock that appear to be in poor condition once the battle has ended and the Booby Trap Fishing Team has no problem slapping a good old Swordfish steak on the grill. The Booby Trap Fishing Team has leaned toward releasing all swordfish in good condition and has passed on the Texas State Record over 20 times in the last 3 years alone not wanting to take the swordfish just for the title of a Texas Record Swordfish.

The Booby Trap also has used their swordfishing skills to hold the record of the first ever super slam in the Gulf of Mexico with 2 blue marlin, 1 white marlin, 2 sailfish and 2 nighttime swordfish during a tournament in 2009 in one calendar day. They repeated the Super Grand Slam with 1 blue marlin, 1 white marlin, 1 sailfish and 5 daytime swordfish July 2012 the super slam was targeted as the Booby Trap Fishing Teams’ goal on the trip July 2012 and was completed in just 4 hours with all 4 species of billfish. Even more amazing, it was done in Texas and both Super Grand Slams where caught by the same angler Travis Joyce and registered with the IGFA as the only angler in the world to hold two Super Grand Slams. This being said, the only way in the past to catch a guaranteed ride on the Booby Trap and become a guest angler has been to attend the Texas Swordfish Seminar and get your hand in the air at the auction helping raise money for our US Veterans of Everyday Heroes Inc. The other way that trips have been donated is each year the Booby Trap Fishing Team gives away a trip for 1 person to join them as an angler and this is a door prize. With the Booby Trap track record and setting the bars as high as they have people from around the nation attended the seminar and even several from other counties. The crews donated 2 trips last seminar and even guarantied 3 swordfish per trip. The second trip was donated after John Duffy purchased the first one, to another group that offered to match the first winning bid doubling the money for the Veterans.

The trip from this year’s seminar was just fished. The crew consisted of Brett Holden ”Capt. Ahab”, Capt. Jeff Wilson and first mate Capt. Matt Reed with videographer “Miles”. The anglers for this trip would be John Duffy, his daughter Taylor Blair, Brett Holden’s daughter Chelsey Holden of which is no stranger to big game fishing. The story of the trip is to follow as it was told to me by Brett Holden over phone from offshore and when he returned to the dock.

The Booby Trap headed out Thursday at Noon July 11th for the 3 and a half-day “Make You Famous” Swordfishing fishing trip. The girls were fired up! John Duffy had already said to Brett he was going to let the Taylor and Chelsey have all the swordfish fighting they could handle. First one in the chair was Taylor right out of the gate she nailed a 150 lb swordfish after a 1 hour battle. Then Chelsey stepped up a small sword was caught and released after a 40-minute fight. One more drop was made and the sun was falling which lead to Taylor another nice swordfish released around 80 lbs.

The night bite was a little slow with one Mako shark hooked and an 80 lb sword caught by Chelsey along with a pile of blackfin tuna jigged under the lights. The next day resulted in one nice swordfish released after one drop. Brett, Jeff and Matt had been telling the Taylor, Chelsey and John about the Grouper and Tilefish spot they had really been catching them on just a few miles away and the days plan changed with huge smiles.

Texas Swordfish Boobytrap Everyday Heroes

John and Taylor on one side of the boat and Brett and Chelsey on the other side deep dropping with the LP-S1200s catching singles and doubles on big tilefish and grouper each drop. After talking with John that evening Brett decided to make a 30-mile move and go to an area away from the heavy weekend boat traffic and target bigger swordfish. The ones the girls had been catching were nice swordfish but after releasing 23 over 200 lbs. on the 30 fish trip just a couple of weeks before they had to give this new area a shot once again.

It was Johns 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 he was getting in the chair. The first drop was the one, a big sword was hooked after seeing it jump it was estimated around 450-500lbs but the hook pulled after few minutes. The next drop using the same new daytime swordfishing techniques the Booby Trap Fishing Team has been working on resulted in another great shot. John has caught several swordfish 200-400lbs on The Booby Trap on his last couple of trips out with them, but this one was going to fight harder than any of them! The sword whacked the BaitMasters squid, then whacked it again, each whack John started reeling up, Brett yelled drop it! John dropped the bait back to the sword and yelled “I’m Tight Sucka!”

He took the rod to the chair and the fight was on. Brett,Jeff and Matt are thinking this swordfish is going to be in the 400-500 lb range the way she is fighting. The big daytime sword was hooked in 1730′ of water and all the line is back on the 80 Tiagra now. The leader came up and Brett grabs the wind-on leader and sees the big swordfish, but can only see it is a fat fish and can’t really get a good estimate on the weight. The swordfish then takes the leader from Brett and takes approximately 2000′ of line without stopping, straight to the bottom and then at an angle racing back to the surface. The swordfish jumps 2000′ behind the Booby Trap and on the slick calm day you could see the white water. The sword was getting tired now and so was John. After all it had been 3 long hours going hand and hand with the big broadbill. Once the Swordfish was boat side the crew was amazed. The swordfish was hooked deep and laid over, so it was then pulled in the boat and estimated a shocking 275-300 lbs. but the fish fought like a “Nickle” (500lb class fish). What a powerful fish. Brett and Jeff just scratched their heads and Matt started to laugh. John grabbed about 3 Gatorade and ran for the air-conditioned helm.

Taylor and Chelsey ask if they could catch more grouper and tilefish so that’s what they did. The crew picked up and ran about 3 miles to another grouper- tilefish area and the 2 teams were back at it counting out 2 the limits of yellow edge grouper and big golden tilefish. After the fish box in the back of the boat was full of swordfish, tilefish and grouper the crew headed back on a 27 mile slow troll to spend the night and get a good night sleep.

Brett tells me the next morning Taylor and Chelsey both decided they wanted to catch more swordfish. That morning the early risers dropped down for some tilefish on the drift while everyone woke up and getting the much-needed rest. The run to the closest daytime Swordfishing spot was about 6 miles from the nights drift.

Texas Swordfish Boobytrap Everyday Heroes

The bite was on! This was the last day of the trip so Brett, Jeff and Matt decided to break out some double-header action. The Booby Trap Fishing Team has logged over 30 double headers on daytime swordfish and this would be the first time to attempt it this trip. The first sword is on. The second reel is down and whack-whack but no hook up. Same thing happens over the next 4 drops finally producing one double header and a total of 5 swordfish caught the last day in 4 hours- 3 different anglers finishing off the 10 swordfish trip on the last day.

John Duffy as before was a pleasure to have on the trip and his daughter Taylor Blair the same. These two did a fine job fighting the big swords and never gave in for a second. Brett’s daughter Chelsey Holden has been offshore fishing her entire life and did a great job this trip as well. It was nice having 20-21 year old young ladies on the trip as they never got tired and never stopped fishing. The Booby Trap Fishing Team is looking forward to having a repeat trip with this same group in the future! John said he plans on buying this trip every year if possible at the Texas Swordfish Seminar/ Everyday Heroes Benefit.

Texas Swordfish Boobytrap Everyday Heroes

The trip was a great time with great folks for a great cause! Dan Mathews of has donated one of his hand painted bills to the winner of this trip and I am pretty sure Taylor will be getting a nice piece 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 the last 3 years and 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. Make sure you visit boobytrapfishingteam on Facebook and also subscribe to their YouTube Channel listed on YouTube as Broadonrod to view this Make You Famous trip and many more swordfishing adventures!

Now “Get Tight Suckas!”

Author: Joshua Graves

Here’s the video. You’ve got to see it.