About the Author:
John Merwin lives in Vermont, where, when he's not tying flies, building lures, or digging up worms with his backhoe, he writes the monthly Fishing Column for Field & Stream magazine.

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November 17, 2008

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Florida Keys Swordfish Limerick Contest

Would you like to fish for swordfish in the Florida Keys next year? For free? Then pay attention to this: Field & Stream is holding a contest in which the winner will receive a four-day, three-night vacation for two to Islamorada's Cheeca Lodge & Spa, including a swordfishing charter trip with Bud N' Mary's Fishing Marina.


The contest is simple. Write us a limerick that explains why you deserve to go on this trip. A panel of Field & Stream editors will review all entries and award the prizes listed below to the person who wrote our favorite. Judging criteria include originality, humor, and adherence to the limerick form. (Offensive language will disqualify your entry).

Prize Details:
Air transportation voucher courtesy of Florida Keys & Key West. Prize Value: $750.00

Four-day, three-night stay at Cheeca Lodge & Spa in deluxe resort-view room for two people, including breakfast for three days. Stay is based on availability. Prize Value: $1,500.00

Swordfishing trip on the B n’ M from Bud N’ Mary’s Fishing Marina in Islamorada. If weather conditions are not conducive, captain may choose to substitute for another type of fishing. Based on availability. Prize Value: $1,250.00

Variety of water recreation opportunities at Robbie’s Marina. Drift fishing, kayak rentals, snorkeling. Prize Value: $200.00

Two Key West attractions passes. Prize Value: $250.00

Two Florida Keys & Key West fishing guide hats. Prize Value:  $40.00

To enter, you must write your limerick in the comments section of this post AND email it to [email protected] (subject line: Limerick Contest). There are no limits on the number of entries, but only submit one entry per comment/email. The deadline for entries is January 1, 2009. We'll review all entries and announce the winner here on January 5th . Good luck!







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Tyler (NC)

I want to use this trip as my honey moon.
Thus my future wife will swoon.
by day we'll catch swordfish.
by night long we shall kiss.
And my wife will learn, she married a buffoon.


We're after a fish with a sword
The captain told us on board-
but to save your neck
keep it off of the deck!
Or we'll be fishing with the Lord!


The folks at a swell magazine
Run contests for places quite keen.
But do we follow the norm
and in true limerick form
submit entries deemed as obscene?

Any limit on the number of entries?
I suppose I could submit a "clean limerick" (an oxymoron) and a limerick suitable for publication in a family journal.

Jim Pettit

How's this?

All my life, I have simply adored fish,
But now I can barely afford fish.
I'm begging you: please
Let me fly to the Keys
For a chance at the marvelous swordfish!

Mark Mironer

I'd journey to Islamorada,
Stay at Cheeca's--it ain't no Ramada!
Then battle the hordes
Of those fishes with swords
That attack like the Spanish Armada.

Jim Pettit

In the springtime, I know there's a lotta
Great fishing off Islamorada,
Especially hordes
Of spectacular swords.
C'mon, people! Please send me! You gotta!

Jim Pettit

I can picture myself on the seas
Off the beautiful Florida Keys,
Rigging lines as the light
Slowly drifts into night--
And my neighbors up north sit and freeze!

Fun contest!!!


A couple from the north country hills

Saw a contest to catch fish with bills

A florida vacation

From their far northern station

Would bring blessed relief from their chills!

Richard English

I could travel to Islamorada
And haul in those swordfish with ardour.
But to fit that collection
In an airplane’s hold section
To get back to my larder is harder.

Doug Harris

Now I'm in it — to win it, the dream.
This prize, of the crop, is the cream.
Has this lim'rick appealed?
Am I placed in the Field?
If not so, see my eyes start to Stream.

Doug Harris

This recession has cut to the core,
My wallet is feeling so sore.
This trip, I'll be bound,
Would quite turn things around,
'Cos I can't afford swish any more.


My rod isn't what you'd call stout
for it's mostly used to go after trout.
But I'd gladly go off shore,
for swordfish we'll explore,
and I'll keep my lunch from coming back out.

Mark Mironer

You asked me, so this is my wish:
My father, my son, and some fish.
The soft conversations
Of three generations.
For dinner, our catch on a dish.

Martin Doebel

I troll upon the Gulfstream flow
in a quest for those that dwell below.
Behind a spread gives hope to rise
of frothy foam and a fiery eye.
Should I lose this fight let no one say that I did not try.

Casey Jones

A man Jones'n from the Mid-Atlantic
Thought catching a swordfish here would be fantastic.
After this article made him drool,
He burned lots of fuel,
Only to return to his wife with no fish whom became manic.

Jimmy Fee

I’ve deep-dropped squid baits in the night,
To swords in the Mid-'lantic Bight.
But to them fish by day,
The old salts say “Nay,”
“A broadbill in the sunshine, yeah right!”

earle Ady

To the broadbill swordfish, loved and adored,
who's charter for hire I can not afford,
off the Florida Keys you rule the deep,
pulled hooks, fouled lines, making anglers weep,
with Bud N' Mary's help, I'll bring you aboard.


There once was a man from upper Michigan
Who thought that he would never fish again
because his wife kept him warm in December
It brought a third child the following September
So tight lines are among things he can only wish again

Matt Zicafoose

The silvery shimmering fish of the sea,
hooked and splashing, with the first mate dashing
to grasp the gaff and hold onto my line
I was reeling with everything I got
but I can't use both hands this time!

Larry Kahn

I've caught my share of dolphin
I've caught my share of tuna
But to get a sword
Would have me floored
not later but rather much sooner

Larry Kahn

Larry Kahn

My lines are ready to drop into the sea
To land a record sword off the Key
But I would be fine
And celebrate with wine
If it were smaller than me

Larry Kahn


Avast ye scribes, if you please:
Here bids a saucy blonde tease
To draw arms with a sword,
‘N hoist the beast aboard,
Then be called the scourge of the seven seas!


To ye men of the bench wise and strong,

For this trip I will commit many wrongs.

I will blow any man down

Who casts you a frown

Or just flatter you all the day long

Tea & Crumpets

To the overlords of Field & Stream
Yeah, I need to blow off some steam.
I work 'til I pop
And I sweat 'til I drop
And I don't even know if this is a dream.

As boy i fished out of creeks
sometimes sitting on cheeks
then later on
some fishing on ponds
and now, if i'm lucky, high seas!

Gary Bryant

As boy i fished out of creeks
sometimes sitting on cheeks
then later on
some fishing on ponds
and now, if i'm lucky, high seas!

Gary Bryant

They flew me out to the beach,
and put a pole just in my reach,
then they yelled "wait!",
"Don't you know you're the bait?"
Then threw me port side like a leech.

Gary Bryant

I once met a man from Nantucket
Who carried fish in a bucket
I said you'll never survive
feeding that to your wives
he slapped me and muttered "ahh f*** it"

Edward Bergmann

A marvelous thing is a swordfish
trouble is, it's an I can't afford fish
So if I write this well,
and the judge says it's swell
To Florida! to catch my adored fish!

Gary Bryant

Islamorada is calling to me
like the sirens of Sirenum scopuli
"We'll show you the fish"
I say "ohhh how I wish.."
and i dream of the Florida Key

vinny robinson

I am the man from Nantucket, and am ready for a swordfish junket
A trip to the Keys,when its 11 degrees
will keep me from kicking the bucket

Gary Bryant

Joe's a smart one you see
-with contests come bribery
and with one little post
see who comes with the most
and that one he'll take on high seas.

Lt. Cmmdr. Tobin Pipkin

"Balderdash!" he roared, "You're a lout!"
"And given your skill, I don't doubt
That if plying the water
With tools for the slaughter
You couldn't hook more than a trout!"

John Meisenburg

Cheeca Lodge & Spa lies by the ocean,
Bud & Mary's Charter will take you out to the sea,
Let me win the contest,
so I can bring my wife with me.

Gary Bryant

Key West here me call
To fish on the seas with you all
I just hope my buds
don't drown me in suds
when they learn I stayed at a spa.

Mark Salmon

There once was a man from Key West
Who read "Field and Stream" with a quest.
He loved Robbie's Marina
And enjuyed Checa's Cantina,
But swordfishing with Bud 'n Mary was best.

Doug Harris

Thoughts of trips to the coast make me choke,
I'm an orphan you see (always broke).
What's a swordfish, I ask?
(Please don't take me to task).
By the way, you're such lovely, kind folk.

big tom

I love to hunt and love to fish, So I hope you fufill this wish and let me fish

Ed Dickelman

Why I deserve to a fishing vacation in the Keys:

Now I live on the isle of Manhattan
Small town bred it’s as foreign as Latin
Saltwater dreams I’ve got
But the boat surely not
With this trip my horizon would flatten!

Roger Denny

Dreaming of Florida sky
Below, only swordfish and I
I stick out my neck
And say “what the heck!”
I deserve it as much as the next guy!

Ed Dickelman

Why I deserve a fishing vacation in the Keys:

Now I live on the isle of Manhattan
Small town bred it’s as foreign as Latin
Saltwater dreams I’ve got
But the boat surely not
With this trip my horizon would flatten!

Don Martin

There once was a guy from Tifton,
Who seldom had time to go fishin'.
He worked all the time,
To keep his bills sublime,
So for this trip he's really a wishin'.

Gerald Woten

There once was a Celina fisherman and one of its best,
Who entered to win a contest for Key West.
He thought and thought again.
Of something he hoped would win.
To get away from a Wife, who is a pest.


Travis Schmit

In Madison I reside, a graduate student
Barely enough cash flow for rent
Let alone enough to fish and hunt
A 2 year old son, engages most time, the little runt
Some exertion pursuing deep fish, would be time well spent

Amanda Pearson

I’d like you to meet my dad Dan
He is a hunter and fisherman
A trip to the keys
In fish filled seas
Is his dream come true if you can!


There once was an angler from Fargo
handwarmers, his most precious cargo
who by a hole in the ice
thought wouldn't it be nice
to be swordfishin' off Key Largo

Gerald Woten

There once was a Celina fisherman and one of its best.
Who entered to win a contest for Key West
He thought and thought again.
Of something he hoped would win.
To get away from a Wife, who is a pest.

Will my Wife see this?

There was a proud Yooper from Houghton
who enjoyed his fishin' n boatin'
his best bud was a guy named Stevie
but would take a certain Heavey
If it kept his Swordfish hopes a floatin'


oops, Posted YooperRyan^


There once was a hard fishin' Yooper
who was regarded as quite the Trooper
and yet living by Lake Superior
had heating quite inferior
and now is frozen to the Pooper