Hammerhead Shark and Bull Shark... TWICE!
So for the last few weeks I've have been talking to a friend who has been on a really good bite of fish and has been trying to get me to come down. Finally, the opportunity presented itself. I made a few calls to the crew and the trip was set. Friday rolled around and we all met at my house, loaded up, and hit the road. We arrived around 11:00 pm and my buddy suggested we go gig some rays. Knowing fresh is always better, we were all for it. After 3 hrs and 2 different spots we had filled the cooler with 150lbs of fresh rays. This included southerns, butterflies, and 2 massive 30lb cownoses . Having gotten enough bait, it was time to head to the spot, about an hour south, to try to nap.
Sharks slamming baits before we could get them all set up.
6:00 am Saturday, we all started to roll out the truck. time to do work. We proceeded to get everything set up and baits were going out. We get to the last of 10 rods and my buddy's Avet 80 starts rolling off. The thing rips 40 to 50 yards and he is slamming hooks. As the rod starts to double over and the scream of the drag increases, the fish decides to spit the bait.
A few hours later, acouple sun bathing near my Duel 9/0ws yelled out, "hey, your rod." I run down the beach and get to the rod. Nothing. My breakaway was busted but since I had a huge chunk of cownose out, it pretty much just sat in place. I get half way back to my chair and the Duel started dumping. As I get back to the rod, everyone is on point and starts getting me harnessed up. I cliped in its time. I throw the lever up to strike and lean back hard. Mr shark did not like that. He picked up speed and didn't want to stop so I gave him a little more. 3/4 of the drag. That was it. We got this massive girl on the beach with 4 huge cobia swimming with her. We were so focused on a fast catch and release that no one even thought to grab a bait to throw at them. 40 min from hook up to release, this bullshark measured out 96in to the tip, 86in to the fork and 68in on the girth. What a pig! She calculated out to 497 lbs.
"Stop! Hammer Time!"
About an hr later, the Avet 80 starts to roll off again and this time my boy connected. He hands the rod to another guy and they start doing work. They beat this fish down. 15 mins later we see that unmistakable dorsal. "Stop! Hammer Time!" Back and forth in the surf for just a few mins and the tail rope was on. This beautiful fish taped out at 113in to the tip. Quick pics and off she went; mean and green.
"It ate and ran. "FISH ON.""
Now we were pumped! Baits were redeployed and we are all sitting on the edge of our seats. We go through a period of a few hours of non stop runs but never could sink a hook in. Then one of the crew got a hit on the 14/0 and the fish did not hesitate. It ate and ran. "FISH ON." All though this fish ended up being an 86in bullshark with a lot of girth for its size, it was no match for the 14/0. With ease my buddy cranked it in. Once again, a few quick shots and off he went .
"With all the action from earlier on in the day, none of us thought it would take that long. Man, how wrong were we."
By now it's getting close to sunset and we were all in a scramble to get fresh baits out before dark. Each one of us chose what we thought was going to be that perfect bait. Deep 6 they went. With all the action from earlier on in the day, none of us thought it would take that long. Man, how wrong were we. One by one we started to pass out. One guy left and 3 went to the truck. That left 3 of us sleeping on the beach. Somewhere around 4:30- 5:00 o'clock in the morning, I hear the unforgettable sound of the Makaira 80w. For those of you that haven't heard one, you wont understand. She's got a mean scream. The fish was in high gear so I decide to just put the brakes on after a 60 yd run. Brakes on, I pump the fish in to the beach and that unmistakable dorsal appears again. The guys were out in the water fumbling around and I come to find out that we had tangled lines. The Avet 80 line had wrap around my spider sinker and some how cut my main line 3 inches above the swivel. On my butt I went. Face full of reel and rod I just laid there in shock. A few seconds go by and the Avet 80 starts to take off. Once the fish pulled all the slack off the beach, I jump up, grab the rod and clip in. A few minutes later, we have the hammer back on the beach. I got lucky on that one. The fish came in still pretty green. We got a fast measure, 115in, and a few pics before back into the deep she went.
Sunrise was not too far away so there was little time for a nap. We were all beat and after a few hours of no more runs, we decided to pack up and head north. All in all, it was a great trip. All reels were spooled with Bullbuster braid and topped off with Bullbuster mono. Leaders were composed of 30 ft sections of grander leader coils, #19 wire, and 20/0 or 24/0 circle hooks. None of the fish were gut hooked and all hardware was safely removed from the corner of the mouth.
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