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436-pound record swordfish taken in 1917
by W. C. Boschen

BOSCHEN, William C. (1863-1918), born in New York July 3, 1863,

= Martha Schreyer

  • 1. William A. Boschen (1890- ) n. Denver, CO

Tuna Club white buttons date back to 1913 and Boschen's taking of a 355-pound broadbill swordfish which he caught on heavy tackle. “W. C. Boschen was the strongest fisherman we ever had. He was a little slow in hooking the fish, but once he had one hooked, it was as good as taken. He never fished from a chair, always from a belt socket. As far as I remember he never broke but one rod. He was a marvelous fisherman.”

"In the summer of 1913, Tuna Club member William C. Boschen became the first man in angling history to catch a broadbill swordfish on hook and line. The fish weighed 358 pounds and was taken off Catalina Island on a special kite-trolled bait rigged by his boatman. The next year off San Clemente, Boschen caught his first striped marlin. According to Zane Grey, 'It weighed over three hundred pounds, leaped clear into the air sixty-three times, and gave a spectacular and magnificent surface fight that simply beggared description.' The same boatman was with Boschen again."

The fishing season of 1917 at Catalina Island was a most successful one. Great schools of tuna made their appearance and afforded much sport. Three hundred and sixty-two tuna were taken during the season and the largest fish weighed 136¼ pounds. Mr. Boschen landed 13 fish weighing 985 pounds in one day’s fishing.

In the News~

June 22, 1915 [LAH]: “W. C. Boschen lands blue fin tuna. Avalon, Catalina Island, June 22. Three blue fin tuna were landed yesterday by W. C. Boschen. The largest weighed 70-½ pounds and required more than an hour to land. The others weighed forty and thirty pounds respectively.”

July 19, 1917 [LAH]: “New Yorker lands first swordfish of season. W. C. Boschen, well known New York angler, who has been fishing in this section for several years, landed the first swordfish of the season near Catalina Island. He was with Capt. George Farnsworth when the catch was made. The swordfish weighed over 200 pounds.”

August 6, 1917 [LAH]: “Lands huge swordfish in twenty-eight minutes. Landing a 306-pound swordfish in twenty-eight minutes in the Catalina Island waters was the remarkable feat performed today by C. W. Clark of Glendale, according to word received by Charles McCall. Although not as large as the fish caught W. C. Boschen a few days ago, it was one of the largest captures this season. W. R. Moorehouse also reports that fishing is good in the Catalina waters.”

November 3, 1919 [Sacramento Union]: “Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, Cal., Nov. 2.—The ashes of the late W. C. Boschen, of New York, famous as a swordfish angler, were thrown on the waves twelve miles from Avalon today by Captain George C. Farnsworth, his former boatman, to whom he left a legacy of $25,000. This was in accordance with the wishes expressed by Boschen when he last visited Avalon, shortly before his death November 15, 1918. Captain Farnsworth went out to sea alone in his launch. At noon he spread a lunch for two. He ate half. Then he smoked a cigar. Then he threw ashes of Boschen upon the waves. "Mr. Boschen asked me to go alone," explained Captain Farnsworth when he returned, "just as if he were fishing from my boat." One of Boschen's record catches was that of a broad bill swordfish weighing 463 pounds.”

November 18, 1920 [San Pedro News Pilot]: “Will strew ashes of Boschen on waters San Pedro channel. New York, Nov. 18.—The body of William C. Boschen will be cremated and the ashes strewn between San Pedro and Catalina Island in California, according to the relatives who announced the terms of his will today. He left $403,000 to his widow who lives in New Jersey. Boschen was a resident of New Jersey but was a great admirer of the west and Southern California in particular, relatives stated today.”