Sunset Blacktip Shark

Spring time is quickly approaching and its pretty evident here in south west Florida!  The weather is already warming up and the beaches are beginning to be alive with all different species of fish including sharks!  Sunday evening we decided to venture out despite 30mph winds.  Ive been hoping to fish a favorite natural beach in the Englewood area but with our windy conditions the water has been up way too high.  Off to search for a back up plan.  This happens a lot in land based shark fishing.  Sometimes finding a good location is difficult.   We always look for a beach that is not too crowded, with waves perfect for kayaking.

After driving around Englewood area we finally found a great beach and the waves have begun to lessen as the wind slightly changed direction.  Tonight we were using our two 80w.  Bait is fresh stingray and barracuda.  Conditions were still pretty rough with the wind blowing guts if 30mph Andrew had a difficult time paddling back in due to the heavy current and wavy conditions pushing him back out into the gulf.   Always remember to wear a life jacket while kayaking, especially if your kayak is filled with bait and hooks!  Thankfully he made it safely.

As the sun was setting and we were just getting comfortable on the beach Andrew’s 80w started screaming.   This was the second run of the evening on his rod.  The first time was short but sweet and the shark dropped the bait before we were able to get to the rod!  This time Andrew had him hooked.  Almost the entire fight this shark decided to swim at the beach instead of away.  Making Andrew reel extra fast to ensure the line wouldn’t go slack causing us to loose this fish!   By this time we had a good crowed of people around us that got a little more than they bargained for when they decided on a nice sunset walk along the shore!

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Andrew is reeling in a fish this means I get to leader!  One of my favorite sharking duties.  The leader man/women is the person who runs into the surf and grabs the shark while the angler is putting his reel back in a safe place and removing their harness!   As I saw the shark come up in the surf I quickly grabbed the tail rope and ran in after her.  I quickly noticed this black tip was hooked in the mouth and my second hook was in its tail fin, so I had to be especially careful tail roping so I wouldn’t get hooked.  I also received my first tail slap in the face.  That will wake anyone up!  After 3 attempts the shark was tail roped and we worked on de-hooking and tagging for NOAA.  This black tip was female in GREAT condition measuring 6 feet in length from nose to tail.  I’m working on a go-pro video of this catch that will be up soon!   A great evening an a wonderful end to the weekend.

 

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