600-pound swordfish harpooned by New Hampshire fishermenBy KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent July 05. 2018 9:17PM
HAMPTON — The fishing community is buzzing with news that a 600-pound, 14-foot swordfish was caught by commercial fishermen off the coast of New Hampshire.
Ted Sutton, 80, of Lincoln, is best known as a ski racing official but he also helps his son, Tom, who runs the Julia G. out of Hampton Harbor.
On Sunday, Sutton and Capt. Jeff Ouellette were on their way to Jeffreys Ledge when they saw the swordfish. They have a permit to catch these fish, so Ouellette harpooned it.
“It was very exciting because I have been out there fishing for 40 years and I have never seen one before,” Sutton said. “Everyone in the whole fishing community has been calling and are as excited as us about it.”
Jeffreys Ledge, a fertile fishing ground, is 30 miles off the coast of New Hampshire.
Experienced fishermen know swordfish are rare in New Hampshire.
“Swordfish, to be honest with you, I can’t remember when a swordfish has been landed in New Hampshire,” said Douglas Grout, marine division chief for New Hampshire Fish and Game.
Grout said the fish are typically found by commercial fishermen closer to Gloucester, Mass.
Sutton said the swordfish was sold to a permitted buyer to be distributed at a local fish market. He would not identify the buyer.
Grout said tuna are a far more common catch for New Hampshire fishermen angling for a big payday. They can reach over 1,000 pounds, he said.
On Thursday, fishermen in Rye Harbor said the fishing is good in general right now. Don Blouin of Rye said the biggest tuna he ever caught was 1,260 pounds.
Commercial fisherman Keper Connell of Rye described the feeling of bringing in a large fish like a tuna. He has been lobstering but plans to start going out for tuna on a regular basis this month.
“All of your senses are heightened. It’s like hitting a home run and eating your favorite pizza all in one,” Connell said.