The difference between night and day swordfishing is, well, like night and day. But George “Cappy” Cheshier’s 30-foot Island Hopper, Hook Me Up, is outfitted for both.
Cheshier has been wrangling the gladiators of the sea for nearly 10 years — on electric rod and reel in the daytime and with deep-set hook and buoy gear at night. He heads out of Hillsboro Inlet near Pompano Beach, Fla., at all hours, often with his favorite first mate, his wife, Lauren.
They’re not sure what business Hook Me Up was into before they found it on Craigslist and tracked it down to a not-so-great neighborhood in Miami. It had been sitting idle in a man’s side yard for 15 years.
Cappy Cheshier completely gutted it and had it rebuilt into a center-console.
During the day, Hook Me Up is his ticket to swordfish down deep, at least 300 fathoms. They come up to about 50 fathoms to feed at night. The bigger swords bite during the daytime on fresh dolphinfish or bonita bellies. At night, they’ll go for squid or mackerel.
“In one day we caught a 600-pound and a 370-pound,” Lauren Cheshier said. “It was an awesome day.”
Home port: Hillsboro Inlet, Fla.
Owner: George “Cappy” Cheshier
Builders: Island Hopper and C&A Boatworks, Pompano Beach, Fla.
Year built: Launched 1989; rebuilt 2014
Hull material: Fiberglass
Length: 30 feet
Beam: 12.5 feet
Draft: 2 feet
Crew capacity: 3
Main propulsion: Cummins
Gearbox: ZF 2:1
Propeller: Single four-blade
Speed: 20 knots
Fuel capacity: 260 gallons
Hold capacity: 2,000 pounds
Electronics: Garmin 4-foot open array radar and CHIRP transducer, full JL audio sound system