After two days of nothing but a 39" bull Red.
We fished the Gulf side today and finally got into a few fish.
My son Nathaniel managed to land the first shark out of all of us, he got the skunk off us.
He also managed to whup up on some Blues.
Mike dropped a Bluefish for me out past the second bar, approx 350-400 yards.
Awhile later my reel's clicker starts screaming, gave him a few to eat and it was fish on.
I stopped the initial run, then he realized he was hooked and took off again.
I cranked as much drag as I could handle and stopped him again, then began a long give & take tug-a-war.
This fish damned near took me off my feet a couple of times, very strong, rod & line humming under the pressure.
At one point I had another angler's line around mine after he went down the beach, thankfully no braid & my much larger mono held up.
Forty five minutes (?) later we finally see a dorsal in the surf, no mistaking the species, it was a Greater Hammerhead.
And he was a whopper... 137", yes that is eleven feet five inches (11' 5") of pissed off shark.
Trying to leader and tail rope him was very exciting.
Tried to get some pics (they suck), verified sex, got a FL/TL measurements, cut the leader and had to forego tagging due to a minor cluster----.
This is where the story goes bad.
We finally get this monster back in the surf for release and were unable to revive him enough to swim off.
Efforts were made for quite some time, thought he was going to make it, but.
This species is well known for fighting till exhaustion & death, add in an extra minute or two of handling and the shark thrashing heavily in the shallows, well it happens.
We were not happy about this, this is a protected species in Florida.
I've made a decision, henceforth with big Hammers after long fights, I will never do anything but immediately cut the leader/hook and release the fish.
Reel: Penn Senator 116L 12/0, spooled with 1000 yards of 100# Sufix Superior.
Rod: Penn International V TS/TF Stand Up, VS5010TS60
Shark on the Sand