This year was going to be a little different for Team Jurassic. For one my husband Troy would not be able to fish it due to working out of state for a few months. We picked up a couple of new people to fill those spots Jeff Fangman and my friend Terra Norris.
As with all teams fishing the BHC, you will be confronted with a few obstacles along the way, whether you can hurdle and overcome them is where the real challenge is. For me and my team, it was weather, rough seas, teammates that live out of state, and having NO ONE to fish with at times. I really had to depend on my girls, and Bill (firedawg.) Greg was in Tennessee, my dad in Texas. They had a trip planned to come down and fish with me for 4-5 days the third week of the tournament. Jeff (Fangman) in Louisiana was able to make it down for a day, but he had school going on and new baby, so his time was limited. Terra was here with me but she got pneumonia at one point, and works full-time, so she was left with not a whole lot of free time, BUT she did watch my girls a tremendous amount for me so I could fish!
Diana Coupel- (SharkGirl)
Howard Daughtrey- (Docd62)
Greg Suzer- ( easttennsharker)
The tournament started Friday, April 12. Terra had to work so after school, and my girls Dr. appointment we headed out to make our first trip of the tourney.
I had assigned each of my girls a role. Amaya(13) was the photographer, Makayla (11) was responsible for helping to measure the shark and giving me the de-hooker. Dyllyn my youngest daughter (10) was responsible for handing me the tailrope, the secret item, and the poster that was required in each picture.
I had two baits out by 6:30pm. I had a weak run on my 14/0 about an hour after we got there. All was quiet till around 8pm and my 12/0 took off with a GREAT run. After a good fight I landed my P.B. Spinner. We had a little confusion when it came time to de-hook and photograph the shark. We couldn't get the flash to work on the camera and so the first picture is taken from my phone. I got the camera to finally work thank goodness.
As soon as I got the Spinner released my 14/0 takes off with another good run. I set the hook and get another Spinner in.
That catch and release was flawless. We only had her out of the water 2min.
Great job girls and thank you for all your hard work!!!
We were off to a good start for our first day of fishing
I didn't have a chance to make it back out until Wednesday April 17. Having someone to fish with during this tournament was kinda of tough at times, so I called Bill (firedawg), and said, "When are you going fishing, I need a second person in case I catch something to take pictures." He told me Wednesday, so I met up with him and Geric, (my opposing teammates lol.) We ended up getting skunked that day.
My next time to fish was going to be Friday evening April 19, when Jeff Fangman was coming in to town. Friday was a horrible day with rain and cold hard winds. The rain blew in a cold front. Winds blowing up to 30mph, lows in the 40's and wind chills in the 30's. It was going to be a cold long night to say the least.
I met up with him Friday evening around 6 and we hung out in our vehicles until the rain stopped enough for us to set up.
Finally we saw this
We got set up and Jeff was kind enough to run all four rods out. I am still kinda nervous about running baits out at night on the gulf side. I told Jeff if he ran all the night time baits I would run all the day time baits lol
Around 9:00 pm, I get a run on my 14/0.
6ft. Bull Shark, my first Bull of the season
I already had my waders on from releasing it so Jeff said, " you wanna re-run your bait back out."
I said, "Ok, I have to work through my fear of kayaking at night." Lol. I ran my bait back out. Yay!!!! I did it
We called it a night to get some rest and get out of the COLD NORTH WIND! I tried to get some sleep, but between the flaps on the tent cot slapping against the cot and the anticipation of a reel taking off, sleep was little and far between.
I finally fell asleep and woke up to my 12/0 make a short run. I get out of the tent cot walk over and tighten it back up, watched it for a few minutes, and said forget this, I am getting back in the tent cot! Laid back down fell asleep for about 10 min. and I wake up to Jeff's reel taking a short run. I get up, and Jeff is reeling it in. Unfortunately, the shark spit the hook. I was on my way back to my cot when my 12/0 takes off. I get hooked up to what felt like a decent shark.
6ft 9in. Sandbar
All was quiet the rest of the evening. I woke up about 5am, and went to the truck and started it to get it warm. I woke my daughter up from the tent cot and told her to go lay down in the truck.
(My poor baby) She was a trooper though.
Jeff had to leave around noon, so It was just Makayla, Dyllyn, and I the rest of the day and evening.
(My fishing partners)
I kayaked out a bait rod and about an hour later.
Good job Makayla!!
The rest of the day was quiet as a mouse. We stayed until around 11pm and called it a night due to being exhausted and cold!
I slept till around noon the next day, and later that evening my teammate Terra and I headed out for a few hours and did not turn a click so we headed home with utter disappointment.
Monday April 22, my dad arrived around 7:00 P.M. My oldest daughter had a softball game so we watched her play until 8:45 then headed to the house. Originally we were going to load up and head straight out to the beach but we were both exhausted. Him from his drive in and me from my previous days of fishing. Greg(easttennsharker) was on his way from Tennessee so we decided to sleep until 4am and get up when Greg would be arriving.
That morning we headed to the pass because the beach was in "rip current" status. We got set up and I ran out 4 rods only to have them wash out in an hour. The current was ripping. It was carrying me off as soon as I would stop paddling. Everyone reeled in their lines and I re-ran them and made shorter drops in hopes of the lines sticking. It worked! Baits were finally soaking in the water!:) I decided to fish my dad's lucky 4/0 with 40pd mono and just try something different for the day because I was only going to be able to stay for a short while that Tuesday evening. I left around 5:00 p.m. and decided to head home and get some much needed rest so I could get up early and hit the sand with my fellow teammates.
After I left my dad was able to re-run their baits after the current slowed down some. Around midnight my dad got a run on his trusty Avet and got hooked up.
5ft 9in Bull Shark
The next morning my dad gets hooked up again.
A sunset Bull that went 5ft 8 3/4in.
I made it back out the next morning after I got the kids off to school. The beach forecast was calling for calmer surf finally, so it was time to hit the beach for the remainder of their stay. It took us a couple of hours to break camp and get everything loaded back up, was not an easy haul to say the very least.
I drove down the beach looking at a few locations. One challenge I had was finding a spot where we could fish plenty of rods, and the other challenge was finding a spot where we had no shallow points. I have seen on low tide where people have had to walk out far just to leader a fish that has beached itself on the sandbar and I wanted to avoid that if at all possible. I also had to find a spot where the water looked just right.
Once deciding on a location, it was time to set up and put our "Primo" baits out. When we got to the beach my plan was to fish big enough baits to try and eliminate at the bare minimum of 7ft. I wanted to fish for quality not quantity. Quantity was to be left for when their was just two of us. I had three of my teammates and wanted us to catch some serious fish! We all fished 2 rods a piece and one small bait rod kayaked out. I managed to get all rods soaking in the water just in time for sunset. My dads rod was already getting hit within just an hour. No hook up but our adrenaline started flowing and had high hopes of a great evening.
My dad found this whole sand dollar so I decided to take a picture of it and send it to Troy. I said. "Look what my dad found, maybe it will bring us good luck."
My dad and Greg were exhausted so I told them to try and get some sleep and I would keep watch for awhile.
Greg woke up around midnight and came and sat with me for a few minutes and then I became very very sleepy, so he told me to lay down and rest for a little bit. I took him up on his offer and threw a blanket in the sand, rolled one of my jackets up for a pillow and covered up with another blanket. I was OUT cold and dreaming of Bull sharks and stingrays. Next thing I know I hear Greg, saying," Diana, Diana, Diana, your 14/0 is getting hit!" I jumped up a little dazed as to where I even am. I run over and I put my rod belt and harness on before I even touch this rod. I knew I had a big bait out and whatever is running with it, was no joke! I got strapped in, tightened the drag, and backed up on her to drive the hook in. Fish on! I told Greg to text Troy right away and tell him, I am hooked up on my 14/0. Poor Troy an hour ahead where he is, woke up and stayed awake the whole time I was fighting this fish anxiously waiting for updates.
I am starting to warm up quick! Sweatshirt must come off!
After a 51min. fight, and 300 yrds. away from our camp, the leader was in sight! I asked Greg to get me a glove so I could help my dad leader the fish in. I knew I could not get to excited yet until this massive fish was on the sand! My dad and I got the tail rope around the shark, and words can not describe what I was feeling when I saw the size and girth of this Bull shark! Now the real fun began. All three of us are now on the tail rope and we are trying desperately to get this shark somewhat out of the water for our pictures and measurements. Now, when I look back, it was all quite hilarious but at the time we were all seriousness and business and no one is laughing. The outgoing tide made this even more of a challenge. I think we all said ,"1,2,3, PULL!" and we moved her maybe an inch
Then it was, "Ok, wait till the next wave, ready, PULL!" Well we manged another inch out of the water. That was as far as we were going to budge her! Time to make due and get her back in the water. My dad is on the camera, Greg and I are trying to get measurements, I trying to hold the secret item and the flyer in my mouth, just to have a wave knock the tape measure out of my hands and the flyer straight out of my mouth! Next thing that happens, camera in to the water! It was waterproof but not sand proof! Luckily we had a back up camera. I got the hook out while my dad was getting his camera. He returned and we gave it another shot at pictures and measurements with great success!
8ft.10in Bull Shark
She was exhausted from the fight, she hardly moved on the sand when we had her out. My dad and I pulled the beast back in to the water. We stayed in chest deep water with her until she could swim off on her own. I managed to face her towards the deeper water and it was a great feeling when I felt her finally kick off from the grips of my two hands.
She swam off to give life to her unborn pups.
That Bull really kicked our rear ends! In all honestly, I just wanted to fall backwards in the sand, soaking wet, and just lay there till I felt like I could move again lol. We were so excited and could finally celebrate the catch and release of a once in a lifetime catch. First thing I did once I got some dry clothes on, was call my husband to celebrate my catch with him.
Ecstatic from my catch, I did not go back to sleep the rest of the night and neither did Troy.
The following morning, we worked on obtaining bait, checking, and redeploying our previous baits. The surf was starting to get a little rough and a hard southeast wind blowing. I managed to get 5 rods out but just did not have the strength to take my 14/0, so I decided to just wait till the next day for that one. This was going to be Greg's last day here, so we wanted to make it count and hopefully get him hooked up. In the early evening Greg gets a short run and then a drop, followed by line tightening up then slacking. He decides to go ahead and reel it in and can't tell if he is dragging his bait back in or if their is a small shark on. When we see the leader he feels some movement on the end of his line and what do you know.....
About a 4ft Blacktip
It wasn't a monster by any means but a shark none the less.
I had to go home that evening and be with my girls so I told the fellas I would be back out first thing in the morning. John and crew were not fishing too far away from us so they were going to call him, if help was needed.
Was the April full moon.
Unfortunately, it was a quiet and uneventful evening for them.
I arrived the next morning, and Greg was starting to pack it in and call it a trip. He left around 11:30 that morning, so we said our good byes and my dad and I were going to stay one last night on the beach. All of our rods were out except for my 14. After having some much needed rest, I finally felt like I could kayak again.
I was putting my life jacket on and I was looking in the direction that I needed to go and I saw a fin swirl on top of the water about 100 yrds off the beach. I said, "Dad did you see that fin?" He said, "No." I said, "Well I am pretty sure that is a shark out there feeding on something because I don't see and Porpoises." I kept looking and I saw the fin on top of the water and it swirling around. I said, "Ok, well here I go dad in the direction of the shark."
The surf was somewhat rough trying to get over the breakers, once pass the waves it was just slightly choppy with moderate ESE swells. I kept kayaking out further till I am in the deeper water. All of the sudden the water just changed drastically. It got very dark, murky and calm, unlike the other water I just paddled through. I said to myself, I am going to kayak a few more paddles in to this water and drop my bait. It just looked right! I threw my solid BIG HEAVY chunk of bait of the kayak and came on back in. I was drying off, and talking away to my dad and he said, "Did your 14 just make a few clicks?" I said, " No way, dad, I just dropped it off, its going to be awhile before that bait gets hit, if at all." I continue to dry off and just talk away, and all of the sudden my 14/0 just takes of screaming and carrying my bait hard west parallel to the beach a 100yrds. before I could even get strapped in and set the hook. I felt weight but only for a second before it came off!!!!!!!!
I was so irritated! It ran 100 yrds, I was like surely this shark has it! Nope, it didn't, I pulled it right out of its mouth! You always have the lingering question in your head, do I still have bait after that happens, but I went with my gut, that I did not feel a hard tug or anything when the shark came off, so my decision was to leave it where the shark dropped it and hope that it would come back. The rest of the evening is quiet and we get some rest. I wake up at 4am to my 14 rolling on out again.
My dad, is yelling at me in the tent cot and I am yelling back, saying, "I hear it and I am trying to get out!"
I get to my rod, harness up and it drops the bait!!!! It carried it another 100 yrds straight West, parallel to the beach again. My bait is now 200 yrds in the opposite direction I dropped it! Royally frustrated at this point we here my dad's lucky 80W Avet take off for a run but the shark drops it.
We decide to go on back to sleep and get some more rest before sunrise with shear disappointment but hopes of returning sharks.
We wake up the next morning, knowing this was going to be our last 10 hours on the beach, so we enjoyed every second of it. The surf was getting rougher, but our baits were still stuck and we were still fishing.
Sonny and his wife came by to visit for a short while along with Bill, and Jack (fishingjack). I was sitting down looking in to the surf and what do I see?! I saw a pod of cownoses for the first time since last year! I was so happy I could have cried. lol
My dad grabs the snatching rod and off he goes! I look down the beach and he is hooked up!
Snagging has never been by specialty but I was determined to try! One of the things I wanted to accomplish this season was snagging, and what do you know!
and another one
I probably could have snagged more but my arms were killing me at that point.
John and Christi came by later that afternoon to say hello and goodbye. They were calling it a trip and were going to rest up before their long drive home in the morning.
Sonny, Andrea, John, Christi, and Jack, it was great seeing you guys! One of the great things about living here is all of our friends from all over the country come and visit.
My dad and I started breaking camp around 4pm. Mentally and physically wore out it took FOREVER to load up!
We reeled in our lines, with sadness, because we did not want this time to end.
Oh and by the way, when I reeled in my 14/0 with the BIG bait that got hit twice with two separate 100 yrd runs, NOT A TOOTH MARK in it. It was still as perfect as when I dropped it in the water.
We were fortunate enough to have had a lot of bait during this week. My dad stopped several hours out of his way from Texas to purchase A LOT of rays, but because the shark fishing was not "on fire," we had to haul a lot of it back home. Not to mention all the bait we managed to catch, or bait that was donated to us by our good friends, Bill, and Peter. I think we hauled easily close to 300pds of bait back home and put in the freezer. IT DID NOT GO TO WASTE THOUGH.LOL
I have used it throughout the duration of the tournament and the rest will get put to use when my husband returns home and we can keep baits in the water all summer long.
Two hours later we were loaded up and headed to the house to unload and get some SLEEP. My dad had to get up early and make his 14hr drive home in the morning.
The next morning we said are sad good-byes and he was off.
The next few days, it was all rest, getting all of my gear and tackle back in order, washing 7 loads of laundry, yard work, house cleaning, and softball games, real life in other words. LOL The weather turned kinda ugly the rest of the week, high surf, wind, and rain. By Thursday, I was going NUTS ready to soak some more baits in the water. I called Bill, and said, "When can you fish again???????" We decided Friday morning, but we would have to go to the bay, because the surf was still rough.
I got out their Friday morning a little before Bill did, and started setting all my stuff up, by the time he got there, I was ready to run my baits. I got my two rods out, and when he finished setting up, he got his two rods out. The morning went by slow, and Bill started walking the bay with his Jig. He got pretty far down a ways and his 12 starts screaming!
I am yelling for Bill, finally after the third yell he heard me, and starts running to his rod. I said, "Sorry, I couldn't touch your reel, in the tournament."lol. Bill gets strapped in and the shark is giving him a fight, he decides to sit in the sand for the remainder of the fight.
We see the tail and I think we both said, "OMG!" I get the tailrope and get it around the tail, and up on the shoreline he is.
9ft 1in Scalloped Hammerhead
A short while later my 14/0 makes a weak run, and drops it.
Finally, after the 6th time, I hook up!
A healthy 6ft 7in. Bull
I ran out another bait, and we waited and waited for something else to happen, but it never did. I got a weak run on my 14 towards the end of the day but nothing else ever happened. All we got was rain and spent our last 4 hours under the umbrella. We decided to call it a day just after sunset.
Congrats Bill on the Scallop!
My next outing was going to be on a Monday evening. I was meeting up with Bill and his son Deven for an all night trip.
I arrived their first and went ahead and got all set up. I ran two baits out before they got there. My reels stayed quiet all night but Bill and his son managed to put a few on the sand.
Next was Bill
This one was just shy of 6ft 5in.
Packed up the next morning and headed home. I was going to rest for a day because I had some friends coming in from Tennessee that I was going to be fishing with for a couple of days.
The weather was not cooperating! High west winds really disrupted the surf. Finally on Wednesday it looked like if we got our baits our early enough before the winds picked back up we would be good to go. I text my friends that were in town and I said, "Hey, how does a 48hr trip on the beach sound?" They were a little hesitant at first because they are new to shark fishing. I said I promise you will catch some sharks. Our friend, Allen said, "ok." lol Yay!!!! I was so happy I found a couple of fishing partners for the next couple of days.
I met up with them early Wednesday morning and we started to set up camp, in a not so easy place to drag all your gear, to say the least, but the spot looked promising with deep guts and holes everywhere. As soon as possible we had 4 baits deployed and sitting pretty in the Gulf of Mexico.
He ran a Pompano out on his 9/0 and I ran this out on one of my rods.
Up until this trip, the biggest sharks Allen had caught were just under 4ft, so he was stoked to try and catch some bigger ones.
He starts us off with a 5ft. B.T.
A little later I get a short run and then a dropped bait on my 12.
I check my bait a little while later and it just had a big chunk taken out of it, so I put fresh bait on and it was sent back out.
My big bait, gets a short run on it, then it drops it. That happened a couple more times and then it happend! A massive screaming run, and the shark was not stopping. I was trying to get my harness on and had technical difficulties.
My line is still screaming running, so I went to set the hook and the rod bent in half and then NOTHING!!!!! It came off!!!! I was so mad! I text Troy, and told him what happened and he said it will be back!!! I went to sleep later that night and woke up to my 14 screaming again. (Troy was right!) I get strapped in and it gets dropped!!!!! I was so mad!!!!! I went back to sleep and woke up to my 12 make a hard run then a drop!
It was a very frustrating evening to say the very least. The next day, I decided to check all my baits, two of the three had been hit so, I wanted to make sure my baits were still ok. I was reeling in my 14 and it got stuck! UGH!!!!! I decided to just take a fresh bait out with me in the kayak and follow my line out and just change it out once I got it unstuck. I did not want to lose a leader, or weight, hook, etc. I followed my line out got to the leader and pulled it up, only to see that my wire got cut!!!!!!!! I was able to retrieve my weight and I kayaked back in. Irritated, frustrated, I tied another leader on, and began my mission of snagging another cownose. In the mean time, I did the same with my 12, I followed my line out and took a fresh piece of bait out with me. I was going to change my bait out if need be and take it out further. I did not get it out as far as I wanted the previous night due to the surf getting rough. I had waves coming at me from the east, west, and south. I said my husband would be very upset with me for kayaking in this so, I just decided to make a short drop and head back. lol Anyways, I got to my bait, and it looked perfect, no teeth marks, so I picked it up and took it on our where I wanted it. I get back to shore, and not even 5 min. later, it gets a run.
Unfortunately, it was dropped!!!
I just let it sit. Allen gets a good run on his 9/0 and gets hooked up again.
He gets his new P.B. a fat pregnant 6ft 3in B.T.
Later that afternoon, I finally see a school of cownoses, they were far out, but I was going to at least try and get one. I waded out cast and I snagged one!!!! Yay!!! I fought it out in the middle of the gulf lol, and got it landed
I was so happy!!!! When I got to the beach with the ray, I was approached by a not so happy women about me catching the cownose. I was so happy, that I finally got one, and here she is to ruin my moment!!!!! I was NOT HAPPY with her! I am very respectable on the beach, I tell people what they want to hear just to ease their minds. I try to keep a low profile and I do my best to try and NOT bring attention to what we are doing and if at all possible I try to STAY away from people, but this lady rub me the WRONG WAY AT THE WRONG TIME! I get so upset, when I am doing something within my rights, that is legal, and I have a fishing license that allows me to fish within my legal rights! I had a very discouraging trip so far, and had been busting my rear end off to catch "THE SHARK." Long story short, she left the beach after I said what I had to say.
Time to get this baby out!
A couple of hours later, it gets the run I am looking for, the run that says, this shark is not stopping!
I get strapped in, I tighten the drag, I feel so much weight, my rod is bent in half, and then all of the sudden my line goes slack!!!
I reel all my line in and I have a clean cut right near the swivel!!! I was heartbroken and devastated, I mean how can this be happening again????? I had to just walk away, go to my truck, and try and regroup myself. I decided to retire the 14 for the evening. I still had two rods out, but was really so frustrated, I just wanted to go home.
Our good friend Peter came out, and brought me some fresh bait, and to pay us a visit. I am just hanging out talking to them and look at my 12 and the line is just laying on the ground!!! I guess something swan in to my line and just cut it! I was just so dumbfounded at that moment. I just couldn't believe all the bad luck I was having. I really was ready to go home now. I did still have one rod in the water but it had been hit earlier and I had the ever lingering question in my head, "Do I even still have bait." I got some encouraging words from, Troy, Peter, and Allen. They all said not to give up. Allen was nice enough to say, " lets check our baits and, I will re-run them." We checked them, and Allen did re-run them. I had a run on it a couple hours later, but it dropped the bait. Allen got a screaming run on his, and his line got cut! Bad luck just all around us. We packed up the next morning and called it a trip.
Thank you Allen and Christian for all your hard work and for everything you guys did! I am so happy you caught some sharks Allen!
When I got home, I was still feeling really discouraged. I received a very uplifting text message from my dad, telling me to not throw in the towel, and don't give up! About 10 min. later I get a call from our friend Regina Capps from Mexico Beach. She was cheering me on, telling me to go kick butt, and keep at it. She has competed in so many spear diving tournaments and knows the challenges and struggles that can accompany one. Regina gave me some real words of encouragement and lifted me back up, and between all my friends and family, I was ready to rest up, and I was ready to fight until the last minute of the tournament.
My stepson, Travis and his friend Riley were coming in to town the next day ( the Saturday before the end of the tournament.) They arrived around 1:30 and we were on the beach unloaded, set up, and baits deployed before dark. I was motivated once again, and determined to give it my all until the end.
Between three of us we had five rods out, I was fishing three, and Travis one, and Riley one. It did not take long before our baits started getting hit. One of my 12/0 started us off first.
7ft 8in Bull
Next was Travis his first shark of the trip.
7 FOOT Bull
While he is fighing this fish, my other 12/0 sounds off nice and loud!
I realize, as soon as I set the hook, I have a very decent fish!
I am so happy at this moment, but never too happy until it is officially on the beach.
This shark kept pulling drag. I would gain line, and she would take it all back away and I was happy about that because it just reconfirmed, that this WAS a good fish.
As I got the fish closer, I saw the enormous dorsal above the water and the distance between the dorsal and tail. WOW! I saw the leader, and as soon as it was in his hand, I loosened up my drag, put my reel down, got my harness off, and ran down to the beach to help get her up on the sand. Luckily, their was a pompano fisherman near by, and was right there to assist us in handling this beast of a fish! Got her up, measured and dehooked, and safely back in the water to pup out.
A 9 FOOTER!!! Just shy of 9ft 1in.
I called Troy and my dad to tell them the news and I all but screamed in the phone while telling them!
The next morning, I re ran out all fresh baits. Our dear friend Peter had been giving us fresh rays that his brother had caught while shrimping.
It was now Sunday, (Mother's day.) Terra brought my girls out to me so we could spend mother's day together.
Amaya, holding the line in free spool, while Travis is running his bait.
Riley was fishing the 9/0 and had a piece of Bluefish out for bait. It had been sitting forever! Finally, it gets a great run!
This is Riley's FIRST shark mind you.
8 FOOT BULL!!
Travis is up next with this 5Ft Blacktip
This one was fighting pretty good.
Later that night, I get hooked up on the lucky 12 again.
8 FOOT 1INCH BULL
(While trying to get a proper tail measurement, her tail was laying flush with the sand, and she swung her tail hitting me right square in the chin, I almost fell backwards into the the water)
OUCH! Luckily we had a couple that was walking the beach from St. Louis and he was able to assist in restraining her just long enough to get her tail shot.
I ended up going home that night to my girls. When I got back to the beach the next morning. Travis had caught an 8ft Bull and unfortunately their phones were dead, and they had no way to take pictures of it
I ran out all fresh bait on my three rods. It was now Monday, and my last day to fish.
That afternoon, I get hooked up, on the 12 again, (my 14 just bad luck, I guess.)
8Ft 10 1/2INCH BULL, my second biggest of the tournament
The couple that was walking the beach the night before just so happen to stop by and see if we had caught anymore and so LUCKILY, we had extra help again!
That was going to be my last fish of the tournament. Our friend Peter came out, and fished for pompano for a few hours and caught a Jack!
I stayed for a few more hours after dark, and then decided to call it. I was exhausted and it was time to go. I was happy with myself, and I was ecstatic over my catches, time to go home, soak it all in, and sleep.
I went back to the beach the next morning to get the kids and they were happy to inform me they had landed another BIG bull.
Apparently, this took him a couple of hours to get in. the weight had somehow got stuck, so in the middle of fighting this fish, he had to kayak out, pull his weight up, (with a BIG SHARK ON THE END OF THE LINE)
close the legs on it, and go back to finish reeling him in.
8 FOOT 5INCH BULL
His new P.B. BULL...way to go Travis!!!! Beautiful fish! Glad my 14/0 finally brought some luck!
I have been doing my best to keep this report updated through out the whole month, so it would be easier in the end to complete. Thank goodness, I did that!
As I close out this report with my final thoughts, I have so many different emotions running through my head, and I am trying to sort them all out and put them in to words. As I stated earlier, this year it was going to be different fishing this tournament without my husband, my fishing partner, Troy. I had even considered not fishing it this year, but I still wanted to fish it with my dad, my other fishing partner. My whole shark fishing began with him, and every time we are able to fish together is a very special moment for me. I can never pass up on an opportunity to be on the beach with him, and its times like this when I see how far I have come since 2009, I reflect back to our very first shark fishing trip that put the passion for this sport that branded itself in my soul. Shark fishing has changed my life forever. It brought my dad and I closer. We share a passion and a love that very few people can ever understand.
Shark fishing also introduced me to my husband, the love of my life. We met on a shark fishing trip and now I can also share that passion and love with my husband as well. Along with my husband, it has given me three more children through our marriage. Shark fishing has brought me to Florida. I sold my home, left my family, (which was devastatingly hard), and moved here so I could enjoy my passion, and start my new life with my husband. Shark fishing has changed my life forever. A life that I love and I can enjoy the ocean, and all the fishing I can stand. You only live once, and finding your happiness in life is a treasure that sadly, some will never find. I thank God, for what he has given me. To be truly happy you can not put a price tag on.
Sorry for the blah blah blah, but this is one of the more personal reports that I am sharing with the shark fishing community.
This month was a challenge for me and I feel like I over came all obstacles and achieved most all of my goals that I had set for myself. I pushed forward, and worked my tail end off and I was rewarded with some amazing catches. Most important, I did this by myself for the most part. I always fished with someone, rather it was my girls, family, or friends, but nobody did the work for me. Yes, occasionally someone would say, “Do you want me to take your bait out?” My response, “Sure if you really really want to lol,” but I made my leaders, I loaded up my truck countless times by myself, unloaded by myself, set up camp, dug holes, kayaked countless baits out till my muscles burned and just gave out on me, and I was able to accomplish snagging, FINALLY lol.
At this point, I am recuperating lol. I am still exhausted, and letting all my wounds heal. I have bruises, sore muscles, tops of my feet skinned up from the kayak coming back on them, cuts on my hands from hooks, stabbed myself in the leg from cutting bait, shark rash on the inside of my legs, and a sore chin from taking an upper-cut punch from an 8ft shark with its tail. With all that being said, I am happy to see all my battle wounds, it shows just how hard I worked to accomplish what I did. I look at them and smile now that it is all over with. I feel like this has been one of my biggest accomplishments ever.
I finished 1st in the Bull Shark Division and 2nd in the womens.
I really have to thank a lot of people that have made this month turn out the way it did and made it possible.
First, I want to thank my husband, Troy, for being so supportive even though he had to hear and watch from the sidelines, hundreds of miles away. He offered me words of encouragement, and kept my determination going. Thank goodness he understands my passion and obsession.
-My dad, for making the long haul, and coming down here to fish with me, providing us with a lot of bait, and also for all his words of encouragement that helped to keep me going.
-Greg for making the drive all the way down here and making us fantastic coffee and all of your words of encouragement. I really wish we could have gotten in to more sharks while you were here.
-Terra, without her, I would not have been able to fish as much as I did. She watched, and cared for my girls while I was gone.
-Jeff for coming down and fishing with me, sorry life got so hectic and you were unable to fish more. I know you really wanted to.
-My girls for being so understanding, their encouragement and help!!!
-Bill for being my fishing partner a few times.
-Peter for feeding all of us supper on the beach several times! Thank you Peter for all the bait you provided and thanks for just hanging out with us!
-Allen and Christian for teaming up with me and helping me out a couple of days.
-Travis and Riley for coming down here and helping me fish the last few days of the tournament.
-Will for putting on such an extraordinary tournament that truly pushes anglers to their fullest potential and makes them achieve things they never thought possible.
Congratulations to everyone that fished the BHC and gave it their all! So many of you fished hard and with such dedication!
Last thing I want to add, is shark fishing, has introduced Troy and I to some of the most wonderful people in the world. Some of our closest and true friends have been right here.
Apologies for the extremely long report. I just didn't want to leave anything or anyone out!!!!
I will start counting down now till next year's BHC