Panhandle June 2017, Three more big Tigers

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Panhandle June 2017, Three more big Tigers

Postby elwinsharp on June 24th, 2017, 3:53 pm

This was one of ours best trips ever in several ways. It was a two week trip. The first week was with all our kids and grandkids. The second week was with some of our oldest friends and their family. We all made the long drive down and arrived late afternoon. That evening we got all the rods and reels put together and ready to fish. We got set up on the beach the next morning. We were a little slow setting up, but most of the kids had not been shark fishing since 2012. It was windy and the surf was a little choppy. The water was as clear as I have ever seen it there. Lack of rain I am guessing.
Fishing was slow, but we got our first run on the 14/0 Everol. Our daughter-in-law Natasha was up first. This was to be her first shark ever. She made the trip in 2012, but was so busy with college classes online, that she did not get to catch one. This shark made a quick run and then she reeled it in with no problems.

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She is a real trooper. She is having problems with her left shoulder and has had surgery on it since we returned home. She was not going to miss the chance to catch her first shark.

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It was a 5'3” Blacktip. We tagged and released it.

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I have to say here that we sometimes harvest Blacktips and Atlantic Sharpnose to use for bait. You will see some in our pictures, so I just wanted to get that out of the way. I have talked with the FWC on more than one occasion just to make sure of the rules in Florida. We never harvest more than the limit, one per person per day and never more than we need. We us stingray when available, but if the blacktips are plentiful, we fill in the gaps with them.
The Avet 30w gets a short run and our 7 year old grandson Hudson is on it. The bait was dropped, but he had a good time anyhow.

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One of the things everyone enjoys most is the trot line. We normally run it out very first thing and see what we can catch. We caught some nice rays on it this trip and lots of catfish. We let the anyone that wants to reel it in. We have a Penn 12/0 dedicated to it. It is not a perfect set up, but gets the job done.

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The grandkids had a big time playing in the surf.

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Everyone had a good time on the bait rods.

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Here is 6 year old grandson, Liam, with a 24” Red Drum he caught on my Penn 6000. He did a good job and reeled it all by himself. He had to sit on the rod and reel it.

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We got a couple of short runs on the Everol 14/0, our biggest set up. It took a while but it finally committed and took a steady no stopping run. I pushed the drag up to about 30lbs with the rod in the steel holder to set the hook and it did not even slow down. If anything it sped up. I could tell we had something really big.
Our youngest son Scott was up next. Once he got suited up, I had to slack off the drag just to get it out of the holder. This one was not stopping.
Once he settled in, we tightened down on it again and Scott got to feel the power of this fish. His eyes got really big and he realized he had a serious fish on his hands.

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I think most of us took turns holding on to him, even the little ones got in on it. Max, the 4 year old, just had to try and help reel. Something about the handle on a fishing reel, we all just have to crank it.

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This fish was still not slowing down, so Scott locked down the 14/0. I'm glad this shark picked the reel it did. At 2/3 spool that is 75lbs of drag and we were below 2/3's. Things got serious then. His big sister had to hold him down now. She stayed on the harness handle until the fish was landed. Scott's son Hudson also gave dad a hand.
I know Scott won't admit it, but I heard him say “Hold on to me sister” many times during the battle.

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I was pretty sure I knew what we had on the line, but we all knew when we saw it come up and flashed that huge tail fin for the first time. Then we could see the spots and strips. Finally we got the tail rope on this beautiful Tiger and it took four of us to get it up in shallow enough water to work on it. It taped out at 11'5”. Our biggest ever by 2'.

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We got it tagged and back on it's way in short order. It swam off strong but slow. This was such an awesome fish. I had trouble working on it because I just wanted to stop and stare at it.
That was our only big fish that day, but what a fish.
The next day we set up at daylight. The first reel to take off was the Everol 12/0 and granddaughter Charlotte was up. These two long drop reels set idle most of our fall trip last year but they come to life on these two weeks. This is our three granddaughters 4th trip and they have a pretty good handle on things.
Charlotte had a good fight on her hands, but reeled this one in without any trouble.

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Scott and I grabbed the leader.

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Charlotte come up with a fat 6'10” Bull.

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My son Adam, had to get a video of the dehooking process. Thanks goodness it popped right out. Made me look like I knew what I was doing.

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Son Scott, learning to release them. Now we were getting somewhere, because old dad is starting to slow down a bit.

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Except for some trot line action, that was it for this day. Hudson reeled in an Atlantic Sharpnoes on the trot line and we tagged it. You have to be very careful with one this small. I used my pocket knife and made a small incision at the base of the dorsal, then very carefully inserted the tag just under the skin. Hudson was very pleased.

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Next day we set up at daylight again. About 11:30 we started getting a stop and go run on the Everol 14/0 again. About 12:00 it picked it up and hung on this time. A repeat of a couple of days earlier. This was another freight train that did not want to stop. Is it possible lighting strikes twice in one trip?
Granddaughter Madison was up next and boy did she have her hands full. After it was over I know she was very proud of herself, but during the fight it was brutal for her.
We got her strapped in and hooked up. We raised the drag all she could stand and this fish kept running for a while. She finally started making ground on it. This was team effort for sure. We had her backed up the beach and someone on the harness with her every second.

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She worked it in close enough for us to see that huge tail when it would surface. That's right, another big Tiger!
Me and my two sons got on the heavy 1200lb leader when it got close enough.

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Once I got the tail rope on, it took 4 of us to ground this big girl enough to work on. This was an 11' even Tiger.

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Except for a little sand stuck to it, it was an absolutely beautiful Tiger. Understandably, Madison was hesitant to get very close to this monster.

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I stepped in a showed her how to guard herself using the the butt of the rod and she was much more comfortable.

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Tagged, DNA sample, dehooked and Scott had to get a picture of the teeth.

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Back in and on its way to deeper water. We were all smiles and had all worked very well as a team. I know there are plenty of you that have caught bigger by yourself. All I can say is, good job and I guarantee you worked on them in at least knee deep water.
Everyone settled down a bit. An hour or so goes by and the Everol 12/0 starts the same run stop go stop, on the opposite end of the line up. We also had out my wife's Avet 30 wide and a brand new Father's Day Avet 50 wide ran medium to short drops. Seems like all these fish wanted was the long drops, but it was fine with me.
The fish commits and we are hooked up again. Granddaughter Shelby is up next backed up by big sister. Another good run, but she turns this one in short order.

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Same rolling around on top with a stop and go battle. That's right, another Tiger on the line. Shelby reels it all the way up in the shallows. Scott and I leader it and get ready to put the tail rope on.

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That's when the unthinkable happens. Hook pulls! I waited a little too long to grab for the tail, so we all got to watch this 8 to 9 foot Tiger swim off. It was so close.

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We all shook it off and got back to fishing.
After this my wife and I were pooped and decided to take a nap and let the kids watch things for a while. I took a walkie talkie with me and laid it on the night stand. I think we may have laid there all of
30 minutes and the kids yelled “Fish On”. So away we run, down to the beach. As I got there I was looking for the reel that was running. All the shark lines were just were I had left them. Shelby had on the harness and was headed for the Penn 12/0. The trot line?? I always lock it down, but whatever this was could pull short burst of slack from it. Shelby latches in.

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My sons and I clear the catfish as the drops come in. We figured out pretty quick what it was.

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A large, very much needed for bait, ray! Not exactly what Shelby was looking for, but she still had fun.

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I wasn't long before Shelby was hooked up again, but this time on the Everol 12/0.

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With a little back up, she made short work of a fat 7' even female Bull. Did I mention I'm proud of all my girls? They are a force to be reckoned with. The boys will get there, but these girls have set the bar high.

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Unhooked and going home. That was it for the day, but it was a good one.

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Started the next day with the Liam and Max reeling in the trot line and they each tagged a good size Sharpnose. It held their attention and they were very pleased.

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Hudson back on the long rod with something.

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The Everol 12/0 took off and It was our daughter Kim's turn.

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Arm starting to hurt, she went to the two handed method.

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Liam making sure Aunt Kim stays put.

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She reels in a 6' male bull with a bad attitude. It's amazing how each shark has its own personality.

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CPR and got our DNA Sample.

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Scott paddled out a new bait and before long the same reel was running again. Our oldest son Adam was up next.

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Without much trouble, Adam reels in a 6' 4” Bull.

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Scott on the release.

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We had the Penn 10500 spinner ran out to the back side of the first bar with a small ray. The reel all of a sudden starts to absolutely scream. Scott grabbed it, tightened it down more, then more again with little to no effect on the fish. That reel is 580yds all braid except for the leader.

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All we could do was watch it get dumped and fast. I think we had a good size Hammer come through.

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As the spool was getting small, Scott adds pressure with his hand and snaps the line. Better than losing all the braid. Luckily it breaks out near the leader and we got almost all the line back. Sure would liked to have got a look at that one. We called it a day.

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This was the last day for our family. It was a fantastic week. Many first and personal best. To many for me to keep up with without researching the log book.
My wife and I have never had so much good help. I don't know how we could have had a better time. Maybe if I had the energy of my grand kids. That would definitely help. They all packed up just as our friends and their family comes in.

Time for Round 2.

We set up and got started at daylight the next morning. Since it had been slow the week before, I also broke out my Penn 4/0 wide and 6/0 wide that I had magged last year for wintertime casting. They have plenty of line to kayak out as shorter drops. I consider them both as my “Lucky” reels and probably should have had them out all along. They were both matched with short 20-50 rods.
It was June 3, 2017. My Avet 50w finally gets its first run ever, well except for a boat, but that's another story. Cassie is first up. She reeled in a feisty 5'4” Blacktip, but since we were just starting all over again, we missed getting any pictures. This worked out to her advantage later. I can't make it without my wife's help in the picture department and she was up at the house when we got this one on.
Cassie had it on the beach in no time. We tagged and released it. That was it for that day. We did gain two more people during the day, Bob and Nancy. Bob is married to Robert's sister Nancy. He has been the most hard working and quickest study to date. He is a life long hunter, fisherman and does a lot of his fishing from a kayak at home. Bob and Robert both were out at or before daylight everyday to help set up and Bob would stay on the beach every minute until the last line was in and put away at the end of the day. He did not even want to leave long enough to eat. After watching for the first day, Bob ran almost every bait for the rest of the week. By the last two days, I let him decide what and were to set up and what he wanted to us for bait. He caught several and deserved every one of them. Really enjoyed fishing with everyone on the second week also.
We got set up at daylight the next day. Bob was the first up with his first ever shark.
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A 5'2” Blacktip on the Penn 6/0. Good little fight for that rod. Lots of fun.

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Before long the Avet 30w takes a run.

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Nancy reels in her first ever. A 3'9” Blacktip.

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Good starter fish. Tagged and release, but not before getting slapped several times. I really don't like handling those small ones. That was it for that day, but fishing seemed to be picking up.
Back out at daylight the next morning with all rods out. A little after 7am the Everol 14/0 takes familiar start stop run. Then it committed. Not everyone would make it out on the beach very first thing in the mornings, so Bob was up again. We put out the call on the walkie talkie and the crew started showing up. They had plenty of time.

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This was a very strong fighting fish. We backed Bob way up the beach. He was having the time of his life with this one. After he got a feel for the set up, the power of this fish, he gained on it steady until we had leader in hand.

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Another Tiger, 8'10” Tiger.

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Tagged, sampled and on its way. These big ones require that I get in the water deeper than I care to on the release. I just like to make sure they are good to go .Bob was walking on air.

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I don't know exactly what we were doing right or if it was just the time of year, but in just over a week we landed as many Tigers as I have even seen in the last 8 years of fishing.
Not much time to celebrate because the Penn 4/0 takes off on a steady run. Robert suits up Cadence, his 8 year old granddaughter. She was excited and ready to go. This was the perfect match up of rod, reel, angler and fish. One of the most heart warming catches of the trip. To see the joy on this young ladies face and how proud everyone was of her was priceless. This is why my wife and I do this.

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She has her first ever shark. A 6'3” Bull shark.

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It had been a busy and tiring morning. My wife and I left it all with Robert and Bob, while we grabbed an hour and a half nap. While we were napping, Trevor's girlfriend Elsa caught her first ever shark. A 6'2” Bull and Nancy caught a 5'2” Blacktip. I will try to add these pictures later.
Later that afternoon, friends Adolphus and Eileen arrived just in time to see the Everol 14/0 take off. Bob is back up again.

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He lands a 6'8” Bull.

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Tagged and released. That was the end of a very productive day. The waves were also picking up and the grass was starting to come in.
The next morning we got lines out in rough surf and lots of grass running. We had a much higher than normal tide with a strong on shore winds and swift current full of weeds right against the shore . We doubled up on all the weights. Our lines held most of the morning, but as the tide continued to rise, we started to lose them one by one. We had to moved the rod holder almost to the living grass line behind us. By noon we called it a day and started to reel in the remaining lines. What a chore. Reeling and clearing weeds. On the two big lines, Bob was reeling and I was pulling by hand. Reel a ways then clear grass for a while. We made it to the Everol 14/0 and it was really loaded up. Bob had her in low and was cranking for all he was worth. I cleared grass as quick as I could. We were getting pounded by the surf. For some reason we really had trouble getting the weight over the bar! It finally came over but still a lot of work. Shortly we saw why. We had a 7'4” lethargic Bull on the line! We pull it up, tagged and released it while the waves pounded us some more. No pictures on this one. It had already been on the line too long. We walked it around in the rough surf and it swam off with no additional help.
When it is so rough you don't know you have a 7' class Bull on the line, it is too rough. We got all the gear up to the house and stopped for the day.
The next morning was a much better day. Much cooler than normal temperatures, but light winds. During the break yesterday afternoon, we all realize we had missed Cassie's shark on day one of week two, so we put her up for the next shark.

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First thing and with grandpa's help, 4 year old Trenton reeled in his first ever shark on the trot line.

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A nice little Atlantic Sharpnose that we very carefully tagged and released. He and his grandpa were thrilled.

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All four boys 7 and under on this trip got to catch, tag and release a shark of their own this trip. So, if you catch a Sharpnose with a tag, it is probably their's.
Very shortly the Everol 14/0 goes off on a steady slow run. We suited Cassie up, tighten the drag and her eyes got big. This was another powerful shark. With help from mom, dad and her kids she started to gain back line. This one was not fast, but it was heavy.

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About then we hear the Avet 30w take off. It was running fast. This was our first double of the trip. Nancy suited up and her husband Bob had her back. This was a short drop and Nancy started gaining line on this fish quick.

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We had Cassie slow hers down a bit and had Nancy come on it with hers. Bob grabbed the leader and pulled in a 5'1” very green blacktip. I ran over, we got the measurements and tagged it.

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Bob released it while I grabbed another tag. This one gave him a few slaps. Welcome to blacktips Bob.
We all ran back over to Cassie just in enough time for me and Bob to drag a fat 9'3” Lemon up on the sand.

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This was only Cassie's second shark ever and it was a beast. Got plenty of pictures this time.

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Things slowed down for a bit, then after lunch the Penn 6/0 goes off. Trish is up next.
Robert and Trish have fished with Shirley and I from the beginning, eight years ago. At that time the Penn 6/0 was our BIG gear.
Trish had a good little fight on this set up.

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A little bit of back and forth and she had a 5'11” Bull in the wash.

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We got this one processed and Bob released it. Did I mention how great it was to have all the help?

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A little bait fishing while waiting for the next run and Trish catches a good size ray.

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The afternoon wore on and the last run came about 4pm. Robert was up on the Everol 14/0.

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Four year old Trenton was his spotter. Pretty cool when the 4 year old knows what is going on. Just goes to show you how much they watch us.

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Robert comes up with a nice 6'5" Bull.

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Measured, tagged, DNA sample and back in the water.

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This was Robert and Trish's last day. They had to leave early the next morning. Bob and Nancy was staying on one more day with my wife and I.
Everyone had caught at least one shark except for Trevor. Trevor had already caught some on an earlier trip. He helped out, but let all the new folks take his turn.
Bob and I sent up at daylight the next morning. We ran 4 rods. It was a beautiful day, but no sharks. The last full day is always my wash down, clean up, oil and pack all the gear, then load it on the trailer. It normally takes the entire day to get this accomplished. Bob stayed on the beach and watched the rods while I got started packing. We finally called it a day and a trip about 2pm. Bob helped me finish off outside and the ladies took care of the inside. It sure was good to have help.

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The next morning we left about daylight and made the long drive back to north Arkansas. We made it in just before dark. Safe and sound, with another uneventful trip home. Just the way I like it.
This was another trip of a lifetime. My wife and I had all our kids and grand kids in one place at the same time, hundreds of miles from home and this almost never happens without some kind of disaster. We did not kill each other either. We also got to spend time with our good friends and their family. I want to thank all of them for a fantastic trip.
It was also a very tiring one. I seem to get a little slower and stiffer each year. I tried to step back a little on this trip and let the younger folks take a bigger part.
I know this is a very long, over written report. I started not to write a report this time, but as much work as my wife and I put into these trips, the report is just part of it. I owe so much to SOS that I try to bring everyone along on each journey. Good Luck Everyone.
Last edited by elwinsharp on August 8th, 2017, 3:21 pm, edited 12 times in total.
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Re: Panhandle June 2017, Three more big Tigers

Postby js1172 on June 24th, 2017, 5:47 pm

thanks Elwin, one helluva good time with family and an awesome report, enjoyed every word of it
js
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Re: Panhandle June 2017, Three more big Tigers

Postby Blue Collar Bob on June 24th, 2017, 6:07 pm

This is crazy. You and your family need to quit bullying those poor tigers, lol. Family, friends, quality fish... This report has it all. This may be my new favorite report of all time.
When I grow up I want to be,
One of the harvesters of the sea.
I think before my days are done,
I want to be a fisherman
-lyrics from John the Fisherman- Primus
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Re: Panhandle June 2017, Three more big Tigers

Postby Poppi Piscator on June 24th, 2017, 6:36 pm

Elwin, you did it again. Just when I think I've read the report of a perfect trip with family and friends, you post another one! For those of you that don't know Elwin, he makes sure everyone gets in on the action. A true first-class guy, excellent fisherman, and a wonderful promoter of land-based shark fishing. When I grow up, I want to be like you , Elwin. Hope to fish with you again some day. Until then, keep the lines tight!
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Re: Panhandle June 2017, Three more big Tigers

Postby Merlin on June 24th, 2017, 6:49 pm

Very nice report, and you're right, it's part of it! If you didn't catch so many fish, you wouldn't have to write as much...
This is what I needed to get pumped up for our week long family sharkcation coming up next month. Keep it up while you can!
Something has to change. Undeniable dilemma. Boredom's not a burden anyone should bear.
Constant overstimulation numbs me, but I wouldn't want it any other way.--Tool
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Re: Panhandle June 2017, Three more big Tigers

Postby GuardDog on June 25th, 2017, 8:30 pm

Elwin, you do a real great job on your reports!
Thank you.
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Re: Panhandle June 2017, Three more big Tigers

Postby jasonkraft on June 25th, 2017, 8:39 pm

Nice job to you and your family and friends, looked like a great 2 weeks spent on the beach. Hope the JB worked out good.
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Re: Panhandle June 2017, Three more big Tigers

Postby JustinEdge on June 25th, 2017, 10:37 pm

Nice report. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Thanks for putting it up.
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Re: Panhandle June 2017, Three more big Tigers

Postby Merlin on September 20th, 2017, 9:05 pm

Your pics aren't gone. What method did you use to post em up? Obviously not stupid photobucket.
Something has to change. Undeniable dilemma. Boredom's not a burden anyone should bear.
Constant overstimulation numbs me, but I wouldn't want it any other way.--Tool
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Re: Panhandle June 2017, Three more big Tigers

Postby elwinsharp on September 21st, 2017, 3:28 pm

Merlin wrote:Your pics aren't gone. What method did you use to post em up? Obviously not stupid photobucket.

It is photobucket. A few months ago I got sick of all the ads and just went ahead and paid the $2.49 a month. I guess they suckered me in early.
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