Author: Dylan Wier
It was a sunny day in early June, Adam Andrews, of Gulf Coast Nation was on the hunt for some fresh bait around Mexico Beach. Only having one night to shark fish, he was looking to break in his new Penn International 130. Freshly topped off with 200 pound bullbuster line, everyone is anxious to see the sunset.
After a long day search for bait, Adam finally got ahold of some of his favorite Tiger shark bait. Meeting up with the sharking crew at the pier before dark they began to setup for what would be a night Adam would never forget.
Battling 2-3ft waves and 15mph winds the team for the night got baits out just before the sun took cover below the horizon. About 930pm there was a slack beginning to form in Adam's rod. This had happened to other anglers rods, due to the blasting current and he walked over to make the line taunt again. After reel about 50 yards, he began to wonder if he had been cut off. So he jumped into the harness to have a more efficient way to collect this loose line.
After about 100 yards or so on a 450 yard drop the line began to come tight, thinking he had found his weight again, Adam sat for a second to see if it would hold, then again, more slack. Adam's mind begins to wonder what has his bait, because he knows for sure now, this is not the current.
As the team becomes less interested, they take a few steps away from Adam and begin to converse on other topics, Adam has the reel set to strike as he is reeling slack, which is 65 pounds of drag. And it is at this moment that the line becomes very tight, not weight tight, but shark tight, and not just any shark but a GIANT. As Adam quickly realizes his situation atop the 25ft pier he yells out for help as he struggles to get his weight back in the harness. The closest guy gets in front and with two hands on the rod, the custom 80-130 century blank doubles over his hand and line starts leaving the reel at a very fast pace. Everyone on the pier now is in full attention to what could be the biggest shark the Mexico Beach Pier has ever seen.
Battling back and forth Adam gets the beasts head turned and while they get in a few stale mate tug of wars, Adam refuses to let her take another inch of line off the powerful Penn 130. Back and forth, back and forth, the team starts to prepare how and where they will beach this wonderful creature to get a fast release to keep it healthy!
After what seemed to be ages to Adam but in reality was 25 min, the 12ft 1inch mammoth of a shark appears in their light. A giant testament to the strength of bullbuster mono, at one point the shark had washed under the pier and wrapped in the piling normally resulting in a lost fish, BUT the shark came unwrapped and the line still held!! Using a rope method, they were able to quickly get this shark down the pier and in the surf wash. Working quickly, 5 sets of hands jump into action. 2 work on getting the NOAA apex predator program tag in, and 3 run out the waist deep water to cut out the hook. In all of about 100 seconds the shark that had just been battled to the beach was encouraged to leave and freely head back into open waters. After about 10 seconds of waves pushing through her gills, there was a swift and powerful WWOOOSSSHHH of her tail and she was gone!
This was June 2018 when this 12 foot 1 inch Tiger shark was landed off the Mexico Beach Pier and sadly that year in October the pier was destroyed in Hurricane Micheal. We constantly pray for those affected by this awful storm and have and will always help those in need.
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