I finally returned home from work after being gone for 4.5 months. This year at work was extremely difficult but financially rewarding. After a joyous reunion with the family SharkGirl had me out the door and heading to the beach for a multi-day adventure
. It felt so awesome to be on the sand again. There is no denying the beach is where I belong.
My first fish after returning home, a ladyfish on a topwater plug. Made me smile like a little kid catching one for the first time.
We fish the first two nights with Debbie, Diana's sister. The nights were mostly uneventful with a few very short runs. During the second night my 14/0 gets a decent run. Oh how good it was to here the sound of the big reel going off again
The fight was strange. I kept trying to figure out what kind of shark I had on. The fight was decent with several violent "head shakes". I get it to the beach and its a Nurse Shark!
Well, I can't complain. I haven't caught one in forever and this one actually fought decent. So, a nice way to start the season for us. It was pushing 8ft. No measurements because I hate dealing with these things on the sand!! Dehooked as quick as possible and back in the water she goes!
We fished on into the morning, hoping to catch something decent for bait for the next night of fishing.
As we are starting to pack up I see a ray swimming by.
I haven't gigged a ray in so long! I am so excited I have to calm myself down. You see I love gigging rays almost as much as sharkfishing
The ray was out about chest deep and I went on a nice long hunt. The ray finally swam within range into waist deep water and with a swift motion of the gig I was now connected to a very angry ray. The battle was epic but I finally won. Excited about our bait we headed home to rest up.
We wake on Tuesday morning (My Birthday) and decide to try a little different area that Diana has been looking at for a while. We are not in a rush. We wait until the crowds start thinning out to get set up for the evenings fishing. The wind is out of the west and the surf has a strong chop to it. We get baits out and sit back and wait. What, Wait is my reel getting hit already
I jump up drive the hook home. Hmmm not a monster but the fight is familiar....could it be
yes it could
a very nice birthday gift a 7ft 5in Tiger
With the help of these young men (local skimboarders and fishermen) we were able to get a couple quick pics and a solid release. Isn't this a great picture!
and a Picture with my awesome fishing partner
The wind and current grew stronger out of the west and the rest of the night was clickless. Since we got some good sleep we decided to go bay fishing the next morning. Diana caught some nice flounder and I caught a jack and lost several really large specks. I took a siesta during the day and Diana took some pics of the bird life in the area.
Wednesday Night ---nothing nothing nothing. West Wind blowning hard
Thursday Night --- The west wind decreasing surf looking much better. One run at 1am turned out to be a blacktip
Next run was at 445am and was a solid fish. Hook pulled.
Friday Morning the surf was nearly calm and I was able to stick another big ray
With our cooler full of premium bait and the wind beginning to blow out of the South we decided to fish one more night.
We set 4 rods out this evening 3 long drop (all 200 plus) and one short drop just over the sandbar (maybe 100yds)
It was a really nice week of fishing. We made friends with several couples this week that came by to visit and hang out with us for a couple hours each evening. It was really refreshing to meet good people that enjoyed the beach and were truly interested in what we were doing.
Here's a picture of a future sharker. This is Mike and Shannon's son. Mike is quite the fisherman himself and was great help during this trip.
The sun sets, the reels remain quiet, and our new friends head off the beach. Diana and I each fall asleep in between our reels. I fall into a deep sleep for the first time this week. Maybe I had given up or maybe I was just worn out. I was awakened from my deep sleep around 11:00pm by my 12/0 screaming (this was the short drop). I mean line was flying off the reel.
I was like a giant lemon must have finally came by
I get harnessed up and locked into the reel. Line is still flying off the reel
I tighten the drag and take a half of step back and come tight to the fish.
Nope not a Lemon!!!
I'm hooked up to a big fish on my very lucky bill fisher rod....how many big fish can this rod catch
At one point Diana's rod gets rocked by a freight train of the sea! At this point I'm really nervous about what we are going to do! Unfortunately her hook didn't stick. About that time Mike comes over the sand dunes to see what all the commotion is about. We were really glad to see him!
I fight my fish all the way to the shore. Diana has the leader but the fish is still very green. I yell for her to let go and when she does the fish takes off back to the other side of the sandbar! What a Fight!!
We finally get a rope on the fat tiger. I made a mistake during tail roping and fell down and somehow ended up under the shark
close call there.
All three of us pull and roll her as far as possible. We get a good measurement of 10ft 3.5inches
Upon the release of my fish Diana's rod goes off again. She gets hooked up to the fish. I am in the wash releasing my fish and can see something is not right! I run over to her. Our second mistake of the night. She setup on the fish without hooking up her harness
she was holding on with all she had. We get her strapped in and she winches in a nice big bull. It was pushing 8ft and the girth was enormous for this time of year. Official measurement was just over 7ft 10inches.
That was the end of our action. The next morning while packing the truck it dawned on me what a lucky man I am. I have a Job that allows many, many days of fishing and I live in my paradise. I thought of how joining the internet changed my life. How the bad always seemed to turn out good. I thought of the great friends I have made, the wife I love and family I now have. I thought of how well SOS does these days and wonder what is next for our "large family of sharkers". Just amazing how good the world felt at that moment.
Wishing you all Sharks on the Sand,
Also wanted to share a pic of bday cake!