Keep everyone off the beach, small craft should head into port, there is a man-eater on the loose! Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration, but I did manage the biggest shark I’ve ever caught this past Sunday.
I went out of port Canaveral Sunday morning and headed north a bit into the Bight. I anchored about 20 yards from the beach and threw out a chunk of Ladyfish I caught the day before toward the shore and fished a live shrimp with the rod in my hand. Not knowing what the fish wanted that day, I figure giving them options would be the best start.
It wasn’t five minutes and I saw the rod the Ladyfish chunk was on bend and drag start going. I picked it up and set the hook, or at least tried to, anyway. The line snapped and I reeled back in nothing but line. Thinking I’d snagged it on something, I re-rig as before; line, swivel, mono leader, hook.
The same thing happens again, a few minutes later; Ladyfish chunk soaks for a few a minutes… rod bends… I feel a tug this time, then reel back in… nothing but line. This ain’t no snag, I’m thinking now. Its a toothy critter taking my chunks.
I look in my tackle bag to see what I have for toothy critters and luckily I have a packet of 9″, #30, coated wire leader. I tie that on my line, and away goes another chunk of Ladyfish.
A few minutes later the rod bends again and, now, knowing I’ll get a good hookset with the leader I tied on; I tug hard. Snap! Reel in nothing but line – again.
Ugggghhh, I’m pretty pissed by this point three chunks of Ladyfish, and still nothing. I have one more trick up my sleeve… a roll of #50 stainless steel leader. I cut off a three foot piece, tie it to a swivel and give one of the three last pieces of Ladyfish a cast.
I see the tip bend after a five minute soak, I grab the rod and give it a tug to check if it is waves or something that grabbed my bait. To my surprise, the line tugs back and starts heading towards the ocean. FISH ON! I give a harder tug once I know its a fish and the fight was on!
It ran out towards the sea, on what felt like the bottom. I’m pulling right, its going left… I pull up, it digs deeper… I can feel its head shake from time to time and don’t recognize it… it made a couple of runs back towards the boat and then back out towards open water… is it a red, a bonnethead, a jack? I’m not not sure…. The battle lasts 15 or 20 minutes.
Finally, it’s worn out and I’m able to get it beside the boat and I finally see what it is. The biggest, baddest, toothiest, thing I’ve ever caught… A 6-8 foot man-eating, children scaring, ocean roaming Shark!