DAY ONEwilliam said:East coast -west coast the wind has died,the rain has fallen,NOW IS THE TIME -- it's time to catch a MONSTER!!!!
Time to hit the beaches of Palm Beach ,Martin county and St Lucie county,,,,,,,,IT'S ON TOMMOROW!!!!
"I Told you!!!"- Rene de Dios when he was right about something. When you can go with your instincts go with them they will not fail you!!
We made plans to head out and fish Martin county just because I wanted to proof to someone that we could fish anywhere we wanted and mainly because I know the sharks that lurk off those beaches.So Tuesday morning I pick up Jimmy Fuqua (JD Hammer's son)and we head out to target a beach that that is on south Hutchinson Island that has produced some nice sharks for us in the past.We get there and you can here the raging surf from the parking lot as we unload our shark fishing gear.Dammit!! "Why I ask myself I thought it was going to be calm"?Relax you have the boy with you and his Native American Hawain like blood means he might be impervious to such high dangerous waves. :mrgreen: :ugeek: LOL!!!
Jimmy works the waves like a pro
HAWAIN STYLE SURF "locals only" :lol: :lol:
Jimmy Fuqua is a special son after his father's heart ,he has been taught everything there is to learn about shark fishing by his father -the legendary shark fisherman JD Hammer, but some things his father cannot teach him and they are in his genes and either you possess them as a man or you just don't.Jimmy has a certain calm about him that is uncommon and courage that is deep.
We are met by Lui just as we are setting up on the "locals only" beach :lol: :lol: :lol: and in no time Jimmy has taken out a total of 7 rods thru surf I would not want to face on my best day.Heavy baits tied to heavy rocks are laughed at by the rip tide produced by such high surf and soon after being deployed our baits with rock attached are washing up on the beach.We are all disappointed that after working so hard to set up and punch through the high surf our baits are all washed up on the beach within the first hour.Back on the road again we head south to find calmer water and possibly fish alongside Shannon and jD Hammer but when we get to there beach the rain is
coming down hard and I make the decision to call it a night and get a fresh start in the morning
Lui helps with the gear and Bob Marley looks on singing "Sun is Shining welcome to Martin County"
yeeeaaaaaahhhhhhh maaaaaaannnnnn!!!!!!!!everything irie boyyy!!!
So we sleep at my house and in the morning I prepare a quick breakfast and we depart again this time for a not so far beach to try our luck.Flat water and a very sunny day greet us but the water is too calm for my liking.We deploy our baits and Jimmy takes the kayak out with a small spinning rod to try and get some local bait but nothing is biting -a sign that the fishing is off in this calm sea.After a a few hours in the hot sun I catch and release an 8ft 1 inch nurse shark which is our only catch on this beach.
In the early afternoon I make the decision to go north once again.I'm telling jimmy we're going to Sebastian and he's telling me "no"he's got a feeling about a certain Palm Beach spot but i am set on going to the big wave place with a famous inlet.Poor jimmy is trying everything to make me change my mind but i'm set on Sebastian.My Toyota is doing 80 miles an hour as i push to get to our destination 155 miles away before the sun goes down.We make a quick pit stop in Palm Beach to pick 4 bomber bonitas from a
one of the 4 bomber boni's we got for bait
From past years I know that palm beach and north is one the places to target the biggest sharks in April so i push to go north and Jimmy is still upset about having all our baits wash up on the beaches of Martin county the day before. I try the best I can to reassure him we're making the right decision to go to Sebastian to fish for MONSTERS.
We call Mike a friend we met in sebastian in 2008 and he agrees to meet us on the beach and hang with us.That would proof to be a call since everyone there would be needed for the battle that was to come.
We arrived on the beach just as Mike arrived and as the sun was starting to settle behind the horizon .With Mike's help in a hurry we unloaded our gear and Jimmy Dean started taking out baits through the high surf. It was'nt as rough as Martin county but close.I have to say here how proud I am of Jimmy's committment to the sport and his fearless and unselfish willingness to brave the waves for his Team mates and friends,,,,,Uncommon Valor.Five rods were deployed the last few in almost complete darkness .We settled down and grabbed a bite while the No see ums begin to make there appearance as customary in these parts.As we start to come under a viscious attack by the flying critters I remembered that Jimmy mentioned to me the reason his dad does not like to fish Sebastian at night the -no see ums and the high surf are the two main reasons.Just as we are covering up in our slleping bags attempting to hide from the hungry munchkins my 14/0 with a 15 lb bonita for bait takes off.The shark drops the bait several times and we finnaly get a hook set after the fifth run.The shark runs fast then but steady and then settles down to a tug of war like battle.The guys are saying it's fighting like a foul hooked lemon or bull or maybe a 400 lb nurse shark .I'm not sure what it is but I know it's awfully heavy and very strong.I fight the shark sitting on the sand and with my old school Sampo shoulder harness on to take the strain off my arms.The shark goes north and i have to follow while I duck under and over the other lines and then back south he heads and we repeat this several times .I'm having to bend the Mike Palmer designed almost 8 foot rod to the max to gain every inch of line .This is a big strong powerful fish I can feel the power when it takes off and i tighten the drag to put some additional pressure on this fish.I pray that small fray I felt in my line earlier on the calm beach will not make me lose the shark.Back and forth we left ,then right and all the while I'm asking for things,bugspray please,water please,get the gloves on,get the tail rope ,the flashlight.Now I'm wishing we had another set of hands because catching a big fish this size is never easy we just two people to leader it.I tell the boys that as the shark gets close to the surf the raging waves will help roll it in towards us but I'm dead wrong because when the shark felt the surf it started to peel off line of the big Penn Senator.I'm thinking this fish is so very powerful and I remember the shark that spooled Shannon last year was brought to the surf before it ignited it's after burners and took off for good.I feel that with all the pressure I'm applying to the shark it is doing what it wants with me at this time.The side of the reel get hot to the touch but I'm still in control of the battle,,,,,I'm more worried about the two young man waiting to jump into the surf with a mad beast that has a hook pissing it off more by each passing minute.At last I stop the shark and put the screws to it so I gain line a foot at a time .After what seemed like a long time the shark nears the surf and Jimmy rushes in but I caution him to wait for the swivel and he backs off as I continue to huff and puff bending the rod with every ounce of muscle I can find.As the shark nears the beach it charges ,i feel slack and I thought I broke him off but right away it gets tight again and the pressure is on once again.
And then that distinctive sickle dorsal pops up and we say it in unison "it's a big hammer"Holy smokes here it is before my eyes !!!We're esctatic and as soon as jimmy puts the tail rope on the big hammer i plunge my rod butt into the sand put my reel on free spool and run down to the water's edge to help get it high enough for quick pics ,required measurements and a tag.The waters edge is deep and the waves are crashing hard against us as we struggle to get him high because there's no way we can hold the shark as it's being tossed up against us hard we are soaking wet and worried about being broke in half by a 500 pound shark crashing into us.All three of us strain to drag him up maybe 15 feet from the water's edge.This shark feels to be very close to 500 pounds we can hardly move him between the three of us.I run to get my mesh bag that contains the camera,tape measure,tags ,wire cutters etc.The shark is totally exhausted and not moving much I notice and I have Mike take the pics as quickly as possible .Jimmy and I work to stretch out the tape hold the monster can and the sponsor banner but the waves are still reaching the point where we are feverishly working and tossing the can and banner around.The shark is not doing very well and i am pushing and screaming at the fellas to get it all done and to get the shark back in the water as quickly as possible.Jimmy and i are now undoing the tail rope and dragging the behemoth back into the water but the shark is not responsive.We walk the big female as best we can in the tossing waves and I'm hoping the water flowing through it's gills will get her moving but she looks to be lifeless.Why I ask myself ? It's a bittersweet victory for me but there is nothing I can do at this point.I am a big game hunter and these things often end this way.I am comforted by the fact that I know how hard we all worked to quickly release her,and how hard we all worked to catch a big hammer in this tournament .