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I'd Love to Catch a
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The Report:

My good buddy Alex, who still lives in Wisconsin, made the trek down to Pensacola this past week. His goal was to catch his first shark, & to capture some great photos of it to show his friends & family when he returned to the frozen tundra. Being that I had a freezer full of sheepshead & redfish carcasses, I figured that we'd be able to make it happen. But we all know that freezer-burned carcasses never work nearly as well as fresh bait does, so we went out Tuesday afternoon with my buddy Doc to find some big sheeps for lunch (& also for bait, of course). Suffice to say, the lunch/bait run was a success.



Alex wanted to make a trip over to Panama City Beach to see my parents while he was in Florida, so we decided to hit an area a bit east of Pensacola Beach on Tuesday night for a couple hours, & then continue on to Panama City Beach & spend Wednesday afternoon & evening sharking over there.

Unfortunately we were met with some nasty, choppy surf & high winds ripping out of the north at our spot on Tuesday night, but Mitch & I sucked it up & ran three baits out anyways. We only spent a couple hours, most of which was filled with short, jerky runs on two of the three rods. When it came time to bring the baits in, it turned out that the two rods that kept getting those short runs both had finetooth sharks on them. Alex got to reel in a 47'' one, which he was super excited about. Little did he know what he would be hooked up with the following night...




After bringing the baits in, we headed a couple hours farther east to my parent's house, to get some rest for the night. We relaxed & hung out around the pool for most of Wednesday, & then finally made the arduous one block trip down to the beach around 3:30. This time, the surf was beautiful, & the winds had died down substantially. Mitch took one for the team & ran all four baits this time, all staggered between 125 yards & 250 yards with an assortment of sheepshead, redfish, & then a whole 14'' mullet on my little International 12T.

Almost three hours passed without so much as a click, & we were about ready to pack it in. We decided to give it another fifteen minutes. That turned out to be a fairly sound plan, as my International set off on a solid run with about ten minutes to go on the clock. I told Mitch to get Alex harnessed up while I ran over to grab the rod. I struggled to pull it out of the holder, as the rod was bowed up at a 90 degree angle & the fish was running HARD with that mullet. I let it run another 30 seconds or so after I picked it up before slowly edging the lever up to the strike position, & right away I knew the hook wasn't pulling on this one! Alex & Mitch ran over to me & we got Alex situated with the rod & harness. The next 25 minutes or so consisted of Alex fighting the best battle of his life, with me on levelwind duty the entire time (being from Wisconsin, he had never used a conventional reel before). She made three very hard, long runs throughout the battle, & dogged him like crazy once she was up over the first bar. Finally we got a good luck at the dorsal, & I ran to grab the tail rope. We made quick work of beaching, unhooking, & measuring her & then spent another minute or so grabbing some awesome photos before sending her back into the surf.








Alex had an absolutely awesome experience fighting that shark, & I am fairly certain he won't be forgetting his trip to Florida anytime in the near future!

Tally for the Night(s)

Me: 46'' finetooth
Alex: 47'' finetooth & an 82'' sandbar
Mitch: Nada

Tight lines everyone.
 

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I'd Love to Catch a
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3,902 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Awesome night and great report! Much better than my last trip...
Thanks man, sorry to hear about your last trip! Believe me, I have had a half a dozen terrible, uneventful trips on the sand for every good one that I've had. Haha.

I've got a dozen more perfect carcasses in my freezer waiting to be yakked out... I need to get out here again ASAP!
 

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I'm going again 12/9, definitely running out some fish carcasses! Rays just haven't been producing for us lately. Did you get those sheeps on a hook? Looking at them makes my mouth water lol
 

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I'd Love to Catch a
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Discussion Starter #6
I'm going again 12/9, definitely running out some fish carcasses! Rays just haven't been producing for us lately. Did you get those sheeps on a hook? Looking at them makes my mouth water lol
Good luck on your next outing man, hoping to see a good report!

& yep, we have been slaying them on the Escambia on small mud crabs & fiddlers for the past two months! They're awesome because they pull harder than most inshore fish, taste amazing, & the carcasses are great shark bait!
 

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"the frozen tundra" I resemble that remark. It’s been a tough fall up here so I’m getting my tackle ready to head south. The bad news is it’s 2 months away.
 

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I'd Love to Catch a
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Discussion Starter #10
"the frozen tundra" I resemble that remark. It’s been a tough fall up here so I’m getting my tackle ready to head south. The bad news is it’s 2 months away.
You better be giving me a ring the day you get here man, let's go get on some fish! My sheep spots will be HOT during that time, & we can go slam some bull reds as well!
 
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