Cape San Blas, Florida - Memorial Day Weekend, 2008
SharkinnAggie and The Dog
Well it is currently 2:32 pm and I am riding in Dog's truck heading west on I-10 back to Texas on Memorial Day. The past 48 hours have been a blurr of fishing madness on a beautiful beach in Cape San Blas Florida. The report is as follows, enjoy!
Our trip began with my arrival at Dog's house around 5:00 pm on Friday evening after a long and very slow day at work. It is extremely hot as we work for the next 45 minutes loading the truck. Finally around 6:45 pm all the rods, rigs, reels, and every other piece of miscellaneous equipment are packed. A couple of quick showers and we are off. It is Scott (Dog), Karen (Mrs. Dog), and my self in the truck loaded down with about as much gear as the truck will hold. Typical Dog and Aggie trip!
We head out of Houston and make the Louisiana border by around 9:00 pm. I think everyone is thinking the same thing, "We have 3 more states to pass through and it is already 9:00 pm". Oh well, the trip is on so lets get'r'done!
Here is Karen driving for a bit before it gets dark.
Friday night consists of nothing more then gas stops and driver swaps. Since Karen's eyes are bothered by night driving this means that Dog and I are swapping out every time we stop for gas. Which is taking a toll on both of us. We make a swap at around 4:00 am some where in Alabama/Mississippi and I get in the passenger seat of the truck and am instantly in a state of awkward but much needed sleep. I wake up 3 1/2 hours later to the first signs of morning and white sand and water all around me. We were in Cape San Blas!!!
Excitement is mounting by the second. Instantly everyone is awake and talking. We make our way down the peninsula that is Cape San Blas and arrive at the rental property to pick up our keys for the condo that would be our sharking headquarters for the next 48 hours. We leave the rental property and make the short drive down the to the condos. We pull up in front of about a dozen condos spaced together on the waterfront. We back the truck up to ours and get out to make the walk through the carport to the water. This is when we discover the true meaning of "water front property!" From the edge of our railing it is no more then 30 feet to actual water with a high bank of sand extending from the railing to the waters edge. This is going to be interesting for sure!
We start unloading the truck in a mad race to get lines in the water. It is around 8:00 am and there is no one on the beach. We get all the absolutely necessary gear on the sand and start to rig up. First line out is a 9/0 with a tail section of sheepshead out around 300 yards. The line is set and then periodically check to determine what kind of current we were dealing with. To our delight, it stuck like a rock with very little bow if any. A very nice drop to get things started.
The next hour is spent getting our mini camp set up and ready for rigging baits and rods. The TSF Flag is one of the first pieces of equipment to be rigged.
The next piece of equipment to be rigged is the 14/0. Now this reel had been then topic of much debate in the past week. Are we going to run it? Are we not? What bait are we going to run? What rig are we going to use? How far are we going to run it? etc....Well this is what we came up with:
A 15-20lb Cownose Ray with two 16/0 j-hooks and two 12/0 j-hooks on one of our sliding trace rigs; an extremely sexy bait to say the least.
I get in the yak and take that baby out around 400 yards. Let it drop and watch it float down into the depths with all kinds of crazy thoughts in my head. It is going to take something major to pick that bait up.
I return back into shore and find Dog rigging up the bait rods. Time to see what is swimming around in the waves. We rig up the triple drops on the bait rigs with fishbites and two-ounce pyramid sinkers and get to work. Instantly we get hook up on some bull whiting and hardheads. We keep a couple of each in preparation to be used as casted baits.
By this time a few of our neighbors have started to come out on their balconies and are surveying the scene before them. We get some smiles and some puzzled looks but no evil stares which is what we were worried about.
Ok so now we have some fresh bait. Lets see if there is anything bigger in the waves. We rig up some casted baits on Dog's Calcutta 700 and my 4/0. We get those lines set and in the rod holders. It is now time to take a break. We put up the canopy and a take a moment to sit and regroup. As we survey the camp and idly chat, the topic of my 4/0 comes up. I had yet to actually land a fish on it! "Man, wouldn't it be nice to break in that thing in Florida" I said to Dog as we sat. "O man for sure, this is the place to do it for sure" he replies. This conversation continues for about 10 more minutes when ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Haha, no way it is the 4/0!!! I get to the rod which is no more then 15 feet away and pick it up out of the holder. I tighten down the drag a bit and see a big splash out in the waves. Was that a Jack? Wait we are in Florida, was that a Tarpon!? It a matter of seconds my top shot is gone and my braid backing is heading for hills as well. All I can do is sit there and watch it go and does it ever go. I know at multiple times during that fight I had a real fear of getting spooled. I slowly tighten down the drag and eventually get the fish to stop. Now the 25-minute battle begins with a few more strong runs that had me praying that I had tied a good knot on my braid to mono connection. I finally get the fish to the first bar and that dorsal fin appears out of the water. Shark on!!! Wait no! I had tied one of our red fish leaders. Just a straight sliding trace on a section of weedeater material with 14/0 circle hook. Crap!!!
Dog walks out into the waves in an effort to leader the fish. He grabs the leader and starts dragging it up the sand. It is around a 5 ft blacktip. He is 10 feet from dry sand when the hook pulls...I toss Dog the rod and make a run for the fish. Every time I try to grab his tail, he gives a good kick and shakes me off. Seconds later the shark has made it into deeper water and turns on the jets. I can see that I am not going to be able to grab him with out some serious chance of injury so I give up. Needless to say my spirits are not high after this whole ordeal. I shrug back up to beach in a state of utter disbelief to a smiling Dog. "Well that was our quickest release ever!" I cannot help but grin, he has an uncanny ability to keep me sane of the sand.
Ok so now that we had paid homage to the sharking gods it is time to get serious. The redfish leader is changed out for a sharking rig and casted out in the same location as before. I notice Dog start to get his Fin Nor ready for action as well. It is sharking time!!
am walking around camp looking at rods and making sure everything is still in battle ready condition. I take a glimpse on the horizon and notice some dark patches on the water. Now what is that? I walk up the stairs to the second story balcony of the condo and to get a better look. As I am walking up the stairs masses start to look more and more familiar....WEED!!!
I make my way back down the stairs and inform Dog on the current situation. It is going to take some effort to keep the shark rods in the water now. We watch as the patches start to roll in. Soon bits and pieces start hanging on the long lines. I walk out into the water and to start the picking process on the 9/0 and 14/0 when Karen gives a yell from up by the casted rods. I look at my 4/0 and it is bending double and snapping back straight over and over again. I look out into the water thinking it has weed on it as well. To my surprise, I only see a small piece way up the line off the water. I then realize that I am getting a run. I make a mad spent down the beach and up the sand bank to the rod and sure enough the line is just smoking off the reel. I tighten the drag and right as I do, the bait is dropped. Alright, no worries, we are getting bites. I re-rig with a fresh piece of cut whiting and cast back out.
By this time Dog has set up a rod spike to the right of me and is in the process of getting the Fin Nor out. I watch him cast out and then go back to picking weed off the long lines. About 10 minutes later I get another yell and look up to see the 4/0 going nuts again. Again I make the mad dash down the beach and up the sand bank. I get the rod out and let it run a bit more this time before I tighten down. FISH ON!!! I watch as my braid is peeled off the reel. I finally get him to stop and the fight begins. Dog is on the camera capturing the fight as we start to walk down the beach to the left following the fish. We make it around 40 yards to the right when a guy starts yelling down the beach where Dog's rod is at. We look at the rod is bent double; Dog?s rod is getting a run!!! "I knew that was going to happen!" Dog screams as he makes a run down the beach. He drops the tail rope with me as he leaves and it is now me and the 15 or so tourists who have gathered around to watch. I get the shark to the first bar and get the first look at him. A nice blacktip!!! After around 10 minutes of coaxing, I finally get him over the bar. I had the rod off to one of the gentlemen standing near me and go to leader the fish. I grab the leader and drag him up on the beach. With my shark safely on the beach, I make the 100 yard dash down to where Dog is and leader his fish. We pop the hook out and I leave him to measure and release his fish while I make the run back up the beach with the channel locks to get my shark back in the water. I get back down the beach and ask the same gentleman that had held the rod for me if he wouldn't mind helping me get this fish released. He agrees and then when I had him the channel locks, I can see he has instantly regretted his decision. "You can either do this or you can hold him, which do you want?" I say out of breath. He gives a laugh and I say "Believe me you have got the better job." I get on the shark and open his mouth. The man works the channels locks and gets the hook out. A couple of pictures from my camera and a couple of pictures from the beach goers, along with some kidos who wanted to touch the shark and I start the to drag him back in the water. I get him turned in the right direction and give a push and watch as him makes his way back out into deep water. I thank the man for his help and answer a few questions for the group of people who had gathered around. After a game of 20 questions with various tourists, I make the long walk back down to camp. I put the rod in the rod holder and resist the urge to vomit; I am exhausted!! I see Dog walk up with his rod as well. I can tell he is feeling the same way.
"How long did yours go?" I ask as he sits down.
"4 foot 11 inches" he replies, "Yours?? Crap, I knew I had forgotten something, in all the commotion, I had forgot the measure the fish!
"I didn't get a measurement but I know he was bigger then yours" I reply.
"Yeah, that is what I thought. I saw you drag him up and he was defiantly bigger." Dog said.
"I guess he was about 5.5 or 5.7"
"Really, I would have thought around 5.8'" Dog replied.
We take a minute to sit and collect our thoughts over some cold bottles of water. That was our first double hook up and it was straight pandemonium. Good times for sure!
After a few minutes, I decide it is time to go back to freeing the shark rods from the weed that has been rolling in. I get on the lines and start picking weed while Dog tightens them back up. We get them nice and straight again, and then proceed to re rig our casted baits.
Once that task is completed, we take a seat and enjoy the scenery for a while waiting on a run.
The rest of the day is pretty slow, my 4/0 gets pick up a few times and so does Dog?s Fin Nor, but neither of us get any takers. As the sun starts to make its way down to the horizon we are met with a beautiful sunset. The way Cape San Blas is located geographically allows for a sun set on the water, which is a real treat for us ?Texas Boys?.
It is about this time that we decide to run a big piece of jack on the 12/0. Two big baits out is most certainly better then one. We get the rig ready and I hop in the yak and take the bait out around 400 yards. We set it up on the opposite side of camp from the 14/0 and proceed to get all the rods rigged with glow sticks in preparation for the night. With all the rods glowing nicely, we once again return to our chairs.
As the sunlight slowly starts to fade out, my 4/0 makes a little ZZZZZZ. Hmmmm, I didn?t think there was still bait on there. I grab the rod and it makes another small ZZZZZ and I tighten down the drag and feel a couple pulls; fish on!!! I start to reel with very little resistance on the line, ?Dang it, I think he spit it? I yell to Dog. I decide I might as well reel it in and see what my bait looks like. As I am bringing the line over the first bar, I see a splash in the waves. ?Dog, fish on!? In a minute or so we have a 38-inch Atlantic Sharpnose on the beach. Not a monster, but pretty darn big for a Sharpnose.
After the release, we walk back up the sand bank to our chairs. I put my rod back in its holder and decide that I am probably done with casting for the day. Dog and I take our seats and start discussing the plans for the night. We have been at it hard since 8:00am, on no more then about 4 hours sleep each, and we are starting to feel the day wearing on us. Besides some delicious jambalaya that Karen had prepared for us earlier in the day, we had eaten very little as well.
As we are sitting discussing our next plan of action, we see Dog?s Fin Nor bounce in the failing light and go slack. Dog makes his way down the sand to the rod and tightens up but cannot get the weight to hold again. He finally decides to reel in and is in the process of doing so when he feels a tug on the end of the line. A few minutes later with he has another nice Sharpnose on the beach. This one goes 39 inches and is released to fight another day.
With that fish landed and released, Dog decides that he is done with casting for the day as well. The only lines we have left in the water are the 9/0, 12/0, and 14/0. The night turns out to be an extremely damp one. With dry clean beds within 30 feet of us, we find our selves thinking of ways to for us to enjoy said beds. We discuss taking turns outside watching the rods and a few other plans when Dog exclaims ?What if we ran the rod from the balcony?? I take a look at the balcony railing 25 feet above our heads and at first; I am completely convinced that this cannot be done.
Dog grabs a rod spike and some bungee cords and makes his way up to the railing. After a few moments he yells at me to pass him the 14/0. I grab the beast and loosen the drag so that I can walk up the sand bank with it. I hand the rod to Dog who is now at the bottom of the stairs and he proceeds to walk back up stairs and stick the rod in the holder that he has strapped to the railing. Holly crap, I think this just might work! I stand back and 30 feet above my head is the glow stick we had originally put on the line. It was a sight to see.
?Aggie, we can do this for the 12/0 as well!? Dog says as he walks down the stairs to grab another rod holder.
?Ha, we sure can!? I reply and turn to go to the 12/0 when I notice the glow stick hanging down next to the rod.
?Dog, the 12/0 is slack!? I yell as I run to the rod.
I start reel in line as fast as I can. After a few moments I realize that I am still not getting any tension.
?Dog, I think we have been cut off?
Sure enough we really in around 80-90% of the line we had out to find a clean cut right through the 80lb Cajun Red. Needless to say, our spirits are low. We just lost a very nice rig and a very nice piece of bait. Well that?s fishing we tell our selves and make set the rod back in the holder.
By this time we have both come to agreement that the 9/0 one, does not have any bait on it and two, needs to be reeled in. I get on this task and sure enough the hook has been picked clean. I set it up near the railing of the condo and we prepare to head up in to the house for some much need sleep. Dog has volunteered to sleep downstairs on the second floor on the fold out couch with the sliding door that leads to the balcony cracked so he can hear the 14/0 if it gets a run. I leave him with one radio and take the other to my room with me. I will have it right next to me so that he can hit the call button if the rod takes off. I take a quick shower and hit the bed like a hammer. I am asleep in a matter of seconds.
I wake up to sunshine on my face at around 7:30. Despite an intense urge to go back to sleep, I get up out of bed and throw on the bathing suit and make my way down stairs. I walk in to the living room and take a peak out the window. The 14/0 is there and looks to not have been touched. With that check out of the way, I toss on some sunscreen and make my way past Dog sleeping on the fold out couch. I walk down to the sand and decide to get to work catching bait.
I toss out some fish bites on my bait rig and starting instantly catching hard heads. I keep a few just in case and toss the rest back. On about the 5th or 6th cast, I see my rod make a nice bounce and then get bent. I grab it out of the holder and starting reeling in the fish. He gives a couple of good tugs but for the most part comes in pretty easily. The whole time I am thinking that I have caught another hardhead. He comes over the first bar and to my surprise, I see a very nice Pompano on the other end of the line. I quickly get him up on dry sand and in to the bait box. Very sexy and very fresh bait!
After that all I have to show for my efforts is a couple more hardheads. I finally see Dog walk out on the railing looking very tired. Haha, I know how to get him motivated again. I walk to the bait box and open the lid where the Pompano is laying on its side.
?What is that? Wait! Is that a pompano?? He asks from the railing.
?Yes sir, caught him about 25 minutes ago.? I reply
That is all it took, about 5 minutes later Dog is on the sand with me trying to catch bait but after about an hour all we had to show for our efforts was a few hardheads and a few croakers.
It is about this time that we figure it would probably be a good thing to get the 14/0 down off the balcony. How are we going to it in time if it gets a run while it is way up there? Dog makes the trek up stairs and brings me down the rod. I reel in the slack as I go and set it set back in the original rod holder from the day before.
The morning turns out to be pretty slow. Dog does he best to try and get some top water action but has no luck. We are both still tired from the day before so we opt to take it easy during the morning and come on strong for the afternoon. I take a seat in my trusty fold out chair, which for those of you who haven?t seen it, is one of the most comfortable things to lounge in ever! I am content to watch as people walk by and stare in amazement (or was in confusion?) at the camp we had made on this sand bank. All the while, keeping an ever-vigilant eye and ear on the 14/0.
While I am lounging, Dog and Karen decide they are going to make a run up to the state park and see what it is all about. That is fine with me; I could use a good nap! I slowly drift off in the chair as the sun starts to warm the beach around me. I wake up an hour later to the sound of Dog?s truck parking in the front of the condo. Feeling a bit more refreshed, I get up and give a good stretch. I look out at the water it has become very calm. It is sharking time once again!
Dog makes his way to the beach and I can tell he is thinking the same thing. It is time to start running bait. We run the 9/0 back out with a piece of cow nose around 300 yards and, for the first time in about 4 months, we decide the 6/0 wide needs to get in on the action. We run a short drop on the 6/0 wide about 125 yards just over the third bar with a fresh cut piece of Pompano. It is now time to get the 12/0 back in action as well. We are taking no chances this time and attach a float to the rig as the first order of business. We then rig up another enormous piece of jack with two 16/0 j-hooks. I get back in the yak and take it out around 450 yards. I come back in to the beautiful site of 4 shark long lines all with in a 40-yard space. No more making hikes down the beach checking rods!
So alas we are sharking once again! Dog, Karen, and my self all take seats under the canopy and enjoy the day. After a discussion about visualizing the shark you wanted and how this in some way helps guide the shark to your bait, the discussion turns to the 14/0. It has now been sitting out there for 30+ hours.
?What are we going to do if that thing goes off?? I asked Dog.
?Haha, we are not going to know what to do? He replies.
?I know, that is what I?m sayin. Could you imagine that beast getting a run??
Now I could not make this up even if I wanted to but in the middle of that conversation the 14/0 lets out a nice ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
?Omg!!!!!That?s the 14/0? I yell.
We get to the rod quick and, in all honestly, are a little scared to touch it. After a second or two, it makes another nice ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
?Alright he?s gone the length of the trace. Pick it up and hit him? I said. Dog takes a few quick steps back and rams the hook home. He gets another ZZZZZZZZZ for his effort and the fight begins. For the next 20 minutes, we go back and forth about whether there is a fish on or not. That 14/0 is such wrench that it was hard to tell if there was anything on the other end of the line. We finally come to agreement that if there is anything on, he is not the stud we were looking for. Dog finally gets the rig to the 3rd bar and is rewarded with another good tug. Fish on!
I get the tail rope over my shoulder and walk out to leader the fish. He comes over the second bar and up the first we can see that is a good-looking bull shark. I decide the tail rope is not needed and instead, grab the leader and start to drag this fat bull in. Scott hands the rod off and comes from behind and grabs the tail to finish the job. We get him up on dry sand and are rewarded for our long soak with a 5.8 Bull Shark. We get a few pictures with him, tag him, and send him on his way. Our first bull of the trip! (In all actuality we only got one photo of this fish, however, we do have video of the landing, measurement, tagging, and release. Anyway, look for that in the video)
After answering questions for the 20 or so people that had gathered. We get the 14/0 rigged back up with a nice cownose loaded with 2x12/0 j-hooks. We attach a float this time just in case and I run it out equidistant to where the 12/0 has been placed. I love floats for that reason, you always know where you bait is!
I get back into shore and once again we are sharkin! It is getting to be around 6:00 pm or so and the temperature has started to drop just enough to where I am not sweating standing out from under the canopy.
We spend the next 30 minutes milling around the camp with the 6/0 wide lets out a nice ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ as well. I jump on the rod and tighten down the drag. I feel a couple of good tugs, Fish On!!! It takes about 15 minutes of pretty much just reeling in line when a nice little 4ft black tip makes its way on the beach. After a few pictures and some photos with the kidos. We send him back on his way.
I don't know remember how many parents asked me if there kids could touch the shark....but it was a ton!
I know you can not tell by this picture but this shark is flipping back and forth so hard it is all I can do to hold on to him!
We put the rod back in the rod holder and decide that if the 6/0 wide is going to produce then we might as well just go ahead and let her produce all she wants. We rig her up with another piece of Pompano and drop her in the same place as before.
I get back in to shore and make my way up in to the carport so that Dog can start handing rods to be cleaned and prepped for the ride home in the morning. I work on rods for about 20 minutes before I hear ?Aggie!!!!?
I run to the rail shouting ?What??
?It?s the 14/0!? yells Dog. O man, here we go again! I starting running down the walk way and do my best movie star leap over the railing and into the soft sand on the top of the bank.
?Ok, wait let him run a second? I exclaim as I see Dog tightening down to set the hook.
?He has already run four times? he replies as he wares back and sets the hook.
After another long reel session we finally get rewarded with a 5.7 Bull Shark. Wow, that is two bulls in less that an hour.
That is pretty hot action for sure. Again, after answering the questions for the crowd, we make our way back to the camp.
?Man, we have got to run that again? I said
?My thoughts exactly? Dog replies.
Not 20 minutes later the 14/0 lets out another ZZZZZZZZZ, man this is getting ridiculous now! I am on the rod and wait. 10 seconds later it gives out another ZZZZZZZZZ. All right, that is the length of the trace! I tightened down the drag, hike the 14/0 over my shoulder, take a few steps towards the condo, and snap the rod hard. I get set up and start reeling in. All I can feel is dead weight.
?Dog, I am not sure there is any thing on here.? I said
Just as I say that, the 9/0 goes slack.
?Dog the 9/0!? I yell.
Dog gets on the 9/0 and starting reeling in the slack until it tightens up.
I keep reeling in on the 14/0 and then notice that the 9/0 keeps going slack. Crap, I am reeling in the both lines. Not wanting to mess with a giant tangle. I had the 140/0 off to Dog.
?Listen if I don?t think there is a shark on this so let me get out here and cut the rig so we don?t have to bring in the 9/0 as well.? I said as I turn to put on the life jacket and get in the yak.
In a matter of minutes I am paddling to the float. I get to what I think was around 20 yards from the float when the shark, that was no supposed to be hooked, jumps out of the water and does a couple of head shakes. WHAT!!!! No freaking way!!!! ?SHARK ON!!! SHARK ON!!!!?I scream back at Dog. I start a mad paddle back as Dog starts reeling the 14/0. I get back on the sand and jump on the 9/0 that is slack again and starting reeling it in. This is where the story gets a little weird. We reel both lines in with no sharks on either of them. After examining the baits, this is what the 14/0 one looked like:
We did not take a picture of the 9/0 bait but it has tooth marks all over it. After thought and confusion, the synopsis was we defiantly had a pick up on the 14/0 and by the looks of the bite mark it was a really nice fish. He was not on long though and I pretty much was just reeling our weight in. At that same time the 9/0 got picked up and the shark headed towards shore. This meant that we were not dragging the 9/0 in with the 14/0. When I went out to get the 14/0 rig, the float should have been about where the 9/0 had been dropped so the shark that came out of the water was probably then one on the 9/0. I can only assume that he spit the hook when he did so. How is that for action!?!?!?
Ok is now almost dark and we have a decision to make. Do we run the 14/0 again? Well we are only in Florida once and so the answer is hell yeah!!! We quickly get the 14/0 re-rigged with another good-looking cownose. I get back in the yak with my headlamp on and start to paddle out. Now I have been out in a kayak plenty of times, have no issues with it, feel right at home on the water, and enjoy it doing it. I can say with complete honesty, this was the first time I have actually been nervous about being in the water. It is still twilight enough so that I don?t need my headlamp to be on to see. The ocean is like glass and as I start to get about 200 yards off the beach, I start to notice the eerie silence. The only noise is the strokes of my paddle in the water. I look back on it now as a pretty awesome experience but at the time, it was defiantly a little spooky. Needless to say, I drop the bait out around what I think is about 400 yards. I start to head in and I can see Dog?s headlamp on the shore in front of me, guiding me home. For some reason that was extremely comforting and I started to kick the spookiness and just enjoy the paddle. I get back in to shore and drag the yak high up on the sand in preparation for the night.
By this time it is completely dark and it is time to break out the glow sticks. We know that there is lasagna waiting for us in the condo so we take turns going to eat. I have the first watch on the rods while Dog makes his way up and in to the condo for a well deserved meal with a radio just in case we get a run while he is there. I on the other hand help my self to a well-deserved adult beverage!!
The night is very still as I sit and watch the rods. The tides have not been as high today as they were yesterday meaning that we now have about 20 feet of beach exposed off of the sand hill. This meant that all day long people could walk along the beach with no chance of getting tangled in our lines. This was also good for the Turtle Patrol that would make their way down the beach on ATVs every hour looking for any hatching turtles on the beach.
As I drift in and out of sleep, I finally hear Dog making his way back down to the sand. We swap positions as I make my way up and in to the condo with my radio. I heat up some lasagna and am eating and watching TV when my radio alarm goes off. I run out on the balcony and see Dog?s headlamp moving rather quickly towards the 14/0. O man come on, I was trying to eat!!!!
I make it down quickly to the sand and get set up on the rod. I am going to catch a fish on this 14/0 if it is the last thing I do. After 20 minutes of reeling in dead weight we pull in a rig with no shark.
Upon examination of our bait, we discover that the cownose had been completely mauled. Man the 14/0 and I are going to have a little discussion about what exactly our issue is??O well, that is fishing for ya!!
take the 14/0 and lean her up on the railing at the top of the hill. That is all she wrote for the 14/0 on this trip. All right so we are still in good shape. The 6/0 wide is out and so is the 12/0, not to mention while I was eating Dog have put out another piece of Pompano on his Fin Nor. We are getting the 14/0 cleaned and ready for departure for next day when the Fin Nor starts screaming ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ followed by a short pause and then another ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
?Holly crap? Dog yells and he gets to the rod and tightens down the drag. He gives a couple of cranks on the reel and is instantly rewarded with another long angry run. I shine the spot light on the reel to see how much line he has left on the reel and I can see fuzz in the light as the braid burns off the reel.
After a little tangle in the 12/0 line, we are walking down the beach in pursuit of the fish. After a 25-minute tug of war we finally get a 4.11 Blacktip on the sand. We get the hook out and get a couple of pictures and send this very lively shark back out on his way.
?Man I thought that fish was enormous the way he was running!? Dog said as we were walking back to the campsite.
?I know me to, but you know that is exactly what happened yesterday on the 4/0. Remember after I got hooked up on that second one, I told you I thought I was going to get spooled.?
?Ah yeah that?s right!? He replied
?Yeah they are just rockets out of the gate but if you can stay with them, they will eventually slow down.? I said as we started to walk up the hill back to camp.
?You are going to put that out again right?? I ask.
?Haha, yeah for sure? Dog replies.
I take the big spot light and follow behind him so that he can see to cast. He makes a cast and gets the rod set back in the rod holder back on the hill.
?Alright, if you don?t mind, I am going to go finish the last part of my cold dinner.? I say with a smile as I start to walk up the stairs to get off the sand. I am about half way up when ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
The Fin Nor is bent double again! I run back down the stairs and meet Dog at the reel. He picks it up and hands it to me.
?You?ve got this one, I need a break? He says.
I hand him the radio and take the rod. I tighten down the drag a bit and again all I can do is watch as the line tears off the reel. After about a minute of steady runs, the fish finally stops enough for me to get some line back. We make our way down the hill and start the long walk down the beach to catch up with the fish. Another 25 minutes later we pull a very angry 5.4 Blacktip on the beach and to our surprise, we notice this this shark has been tagged before!! After a couple of minutes of wrestling with him, I finally get enough weight on him to keep him from twisting and turning. I have some nice shark burn on my ankles and calves to show for my efforts. We get the hook out and send him on his way.
We make our way back to the hill and it is completely obvious that there will be no more sharking tonight. We are done!!! I am sunburned, tired, and just went a couple of rounds with a very pissed off shark. A fight that I am not quite sure I one. We reel in the 6/0 wide only to discover that the hook had been picked cleaned. We get all of the other rods off the sand and are getting ready to put the 12/0 in the rod holder on the balcony when I notice it is slack. I jump on the rod and begin reeling only to discover that we had been cut again!!!! What is going on? I get the rest of the line in to find a 1-foot section of completely destroyed mono. We still have no thoughts as to what did that.
With our last hope for the monster out of commission, we decide to call it a trip. We move all the rods off the sand and up on the balcony. Take a few showers and hit the sack. We set our alarms for 6:30 am.
I wake up to sound of my alarm screaming (rather annoying) loud in my room. I get out of bed and almost fall over. My body is not ready for another round. After some coaxing and assurances that all it would have to deal with today was a car ride, I finally get going. I walk out on to the balcony and see our float sitting exactly where it had been dropped. Well that is good news! We are going to be getting that rig back! I make it down on the sand and get the kayak back down by the water. As I am doing so I see Dog walk out on the balcony.
?You going to go get the float?? he asks.
?Yeah? I reply and set out in the yak.
I get out to the float and still have some lingering thoughts about sharks jumping out of the water very near to floats. I start pulling on the line and feel the weight pop free and up comes the hooks which have been picked clean of all the Jack. I make my way back to shore and the next hour and a half is spent packing gear and loading the truck. We are on the road by 9:45 am and heading back to Texas. While we did not get the stud we were after, this trip was an amazing 10 SHARK TRIP !!!!
P.S. I would just like to thank all of the people staying in the Condos around us. They were very nice people and were happy to help if we needed a hand with anything. I know a couple of them should be visiting the site this week so just wanted to give a big thanks to them
Also we have a ton of video and will get it put together and posted as soon as we can.
Till next time??..Aggie and Dog out!!!!!!!!