Charene Shark Fishing in Florida!
Something about fishing on Friday the 13th in a lightning storm for sharks just seem tough and crazy. Holy cow! One it is one of the craziest experiences I have had, for multiple reasons.
It's a very stormy Friday the 13th (Florida happens to be the lighting/thunder capital of the world), the wind is howling a bit, clouds are dark, lightning on the horizon. We decide to wait the storm out...and after about 45 minutes of me fussing and worrying we decided to ride the storm out! We head into dark clouds with Captain David Beede of Shallow Point Charters, assuring us he would dodge the storms the best he could.
We arrive outside of Tampa about 20 minutes, to somewhat clear skies/no rain and begin to hunt for sharks. The best way to catch a shark is catch yourself some primo bait.
First one with a fish to the boat was me ( they let me since I have never fished on the ocean before) It was an Atlantic Sharpnose shark, a baby but still a nice catch. Then right when I was getting mine close to the water we got another one!
The adrenaline rush is great. My best bait was a baby barracuda, second best was the lady fish. I also snagged an itty baby Black Tip Shark. Which means it's mother was somewhere real close and probably pretty big. most likely born in the last week.
Back to the bait, the baby barracuda was the best. The story I am about to tell may seem unreal but I assure you it isn't and when I can get the video up on Kyss's YouTube page you will see what happened.
I caught the baby barracuda which Captain David cuts up for bait. He is excited and says this should catch some monsters. We caught something he never imagined we would that day. The line gets hit hard and I grab it. He screams " Anchor up, line's in the boat, ROD TIP UP!" Off the shark goes... and it's BIG. Trying to remember what to do, I start getting so excited. The fight begins! It becomes a whole team effort at this point. We fight him for about 10 minutes and Captain David begins to see what it is...
The look he had was pure joy and excitement with shock. A rare species of hammerhead shark caught in the Gulf, though they are a common species of hammerhead they are not caught all that often. The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark,this is a fairly large hammerhead, though is smaller than both the Great and Smooth Hammerheads. It had to have been a female because of the size, the females with be 3 to even 4 feet longer then males. Captain said 80 to 100lbs and 6 to maybe 7 feet long.
You could tell this was nothing like what we were catching before. The adrenaline rush is crazy, your palms sweat, your hands hurt and most of all the area you put the pole end gets so sore. You know this is the "Big" one.
Tag team time! Now I pass off the pole to my friend Denise as I am so shaky/tired and she knows the drill from fishing in the Ocean before. She fights the sucker for another 15 minutes or so ( now we have been fighting him almost 35 minutes).
I of course am just freaking out, I am so excited slash scared we are not going to get the shark to the boat. We begin sharing duties on the pole, one helping hold the rod tip up, one reeling when they could.
I could see the beautiful creature about 20 feet from the boat...white from the sand on the bottom, and his fins fighting as much as they could. Goosebumps are going up my arm as I am typing this...no experience I have ever felt was like fighting that creature and seeing it out in the Gulf of Mexico.
An eerie backdrop with a rare catch of the day. Then Kyss listeners we decide to get a little video of what is happening. We record I chat...I know I reeled the line a bit much when it's was pulling, which is a no no cause you cause friction on the line and it could snap easy. So when it's pulling you should just let it till it is tired out and you can then reel fast at that point. We record get to the end of the video...and something happened. Captain thought he may have whipped his tail on my line.. I think I did something wrong. The catch of a lifetime and it got away!
Oh well the fight was worth every penny and we caught lots of fish while getting caught in a few rainstorms too. I did loose another big Bull shark which was the only species we didn't get that day! We did get 5 different species of shark though and normally people only get 3 if lucky.
Overall it was a lucky day to be fishing, not many boats dared to do what we did and for that I am grateful to Captain David Beede for convincing me to do it anyway. Sometimes fear of doing something means you need to do it more. I wouldn't feel right hunting for the monsters of the ocean on a sunny day. I got a nice black tip about 3 to 4 feet long and pretty heavy for some shark steaks.
Check out Shallow Point Charters here for some pictures and info on Shark fishing down in the Gulf. Amazing time and worth the trip.