Author: Team Hitman LBSF
Team Hitman How it Began!
Who is Team Hitman you may ask? Well sit down and strap in, I’ll give you the quick world wind version. It all started around the end of May 2016 I came across a post on Facebook of a guy named Will Starr that was traveling to my local fishing are on vacation with his family. He was looking for someone to give him a little local’s knowledge and also was interested in purchasing some leaders for lbsf. I shot him a message and told him that I had just what he needed! A little local knowledge as well as a smoking deal on some of my homemade mono leaders. We went back and forth talking about fishing for the coming few days until he was set to arrive in town.
Once in town he gave me a ring and my wife Nicole and I headed out to meet Will and his lovely wife Tara we decide to meet at a location we would end up calling The Whitehouse (that’s a whole different story for a different day). Once we had finally met we immediately decided we were fishermen and the ocean was right there so we may as well wet some hooks. I was low on bait but Will had been throwing the cast net in the waterway and managed to get a couple decent sized pop eye mullet. He offered the biggest to me and I sent it afloat on a balloon rig with a 12 foot Bullbuster mono Leader with a single 18/0 circle hook in this little 8 inch mullet. Now here at the Whitehouse we are surrounded by bottom fishermen so a Penn 9/0 (even though it is a relatively small reel) gained a lot of attention from the other fisherman and the questions began, “what y’all trying to catch with that big ol’ thing? Jaws?” “How much line is on that thing?”. One guy from VA was really interested and was paying attention to every move we made.
Now at this time the bait had been in the water for maybe 10 minutes when we began hearing the sound that every shark fishermen loves …..The sound of a screaming clicker. Now here is where Will and myself knew we were 2 of a kind, things just started happening, it was as if we had fished together our entire lives and had been through this exact scenario a thousand times over. I grabbed the reel Will helped me into my fighting plate, We tightened up the line and I felt a couple head shakes feed back to the rod and I knew the 18/0 circle hook had done its job and was now lodged in the corner of the toothy beasts mouth at the other end of my Bullbuster 80 pound mono Topshot. We managed to get the bottom fishermen to reel there lines in to allow us a clear path from the end of The Whitehouse to the soft sand of the beach. We passed the rod around every light pole all the way from the end of the pier down until we made it to the shallows with a rather large crowd of onlookers in tow(everyone on the pier actually). Will said he would go down to the water ahead of me to beach the fish. I told him to get the Tagging box from my wife it had all the supplies we would need on the sand including a tail rope to assist in landing the fish. He takes off running in to water and runs up to the fish and puts the tail rope on as if its just another walk in the park. Once he has the rope secured I pass my rod off to one of the on lookers so I too can get down on the sand with the shark. Once I made it down off the pier and to the waters edge I Finally could see what I Had caught (unknown to Will this was my first Big shark) I was ecstatic to see the most beautiful Tiger stripes I had ever seen. I grabbed the tape measure and got a quick total length measurement, determined that it was female, checked her over for any obvious injuries or marks, removed the hook and placed a NOAA Apex Predator Tag in the fishes back. Me and Will then began the revival process , we guided the 6 foot 7 inch female Tiger shark back out to water around waist deep so that she could have some good flow across her gills and in a minute or two she was kicking strong and swam away to deeper water.
Will and myself were ecstatic we had just successfully caught and released a shark after only knowing each other 30 minutes essentially and we had made it work like we had done it like that a thousand times before. Once back up on The Whitehouse we received many congratulatory handshakes from all the onlookers. We began packing up to leave since we didn’t think that we could handle any more excitement on the first night. We ended up talking for about 2 hours in the parking lot about what we had just experienced. I thanked Will and told him I was glad he had done that before because I hadn’t and didn’t think I could’ve done it without his help, he looks to me and says “This was a first for me!’ I just laughed and said “Me too”. We agreed to fish again later in the week.
Fast forward 2 nights and Will and myself are back out on the beach and decide to try our luck paddling some baits out. Will manages to get one bait out my 9/0. Here we are on the beach at night just getting to know each other a little more and enjoying the beautiful weather of a warm June night here in southeastern North Carolina when we hear that sound……. CCCCCCLLLLLLLIIIIIIICCCCCCCKKKKKKK and we jumped up and Knew it was ON AGAIN. I set the hook and began fighting the fish for a few minutes and then decided Will had just as much if not more effort in to the fish as myself so I passed the rod off to him! He fought the fish for a while and when it got close to the shore he passed it back off to me so he could tail rope and land it. It gets in close and he manages to get the rope on and I know this one is bigger than the one from 2 nights prior. Will begins pulling the beast up so we can safely get a measurement of the fish and remove the hooks when I see it…….. Stripes Again!!!! And Bigger. We get the tape pulled and this fella measures out to a respectable 8 foot 4 Inches. We remove the hook and get this big guy back in the water and he waste no time at all getting back to deeper water to swim another day.
Once we each told a few of our buddies about the fun we had experienced they decided they wanted in on the excitement and we decided that we had to have a name at that point and thus the birth of Team Hitman!! We have grown to a tight group of great fishermen and have caught many fish of several different species in the past 2 years and can wait to see what 2018 holds for us now that the fishing is beginning to pick up for the year finally!
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