Seven good friends and team members were about to commence upon an epic weekend journey. Friday afternoon radar check determined our new fishing location. The original plan to hit Delaware was out as a heavy system was moving in for the weekend. A last minute decision was made. We readied the gear, loaded the cars and made our way to the North Carolina coast.
Having been on many fishing adventures with much longer travel time the ride didn't seem that long. 3:30am we arrived at our hotel and we were on the beach by 5am. The team scurried to set up dragging the 100lbs cooler stuffed with cownose ray from the previous weekend. We quickly prepared our gear. First thing was first, getting the shark baits out. Teammate Elli kayaked the four baits out into what felt like the distant horizon. The sunrise was amazing and the water was alive. Many fish jumping as she yaked out 800 yards into the ocean. She deployed all bait in two trips. Now we would sit, wait, and wish.
While waiting for the bite we began casting spoons into the surf. Wading out to the sandbar, cast after cast with the sun swiftly rising. The temperature was warm and the water salty. 50 cast later Elli was the first one was on. She hooked into a bluefish on a spoon. Not long after she hooked two flounder. A couple other teammates hooked some spanish mackerel.
The sun sat high and the ocean breeze cooled as it blew the salty air. We spent a lot of time wading out, and swimming. There was tons of glass minnows and mullet cutting through the waves. We caught some with the cast net. Live lining pinfish and mullet.
The first shark rod took off, the 80w screaming. Our hearts pounded as we rushed to the rod. Sadly the line was slack and after reeling we knew instantly that we had been cut off. Disappointment setting it. We lost all our mono and a lot of braid. But not to worry we luckily have an order of Bullbuster line on the way.
We were tired as the sun beat heavily down, swimming, kayaking, casting, no sleep had really drained us all. But the thrill of the next bite gave us enough energy to last. Suddenly the spinning rod bowed hard, bait was only out about 400 yards. I set the hook and the drag was peeling, rod bent. This is what all the time and effort was for, this feeling. The anticipation of this moment and now I was hooked up. On a massive beast pulling drag, fighting hard. I predicted it was a tiger shark the way it was fighting, slower steady runs and dead weight. Everyone sat waiting to see the shark. About 20 mins later and the shark was in the surf. A beautiful female tiger shark. My teammates all helped in quickly landing the shark. She was big and stunning. We swiftly got the hook out, however we realized this shark had other hooks in her. Stuck near her gills was a live bait kingfish rig with line wrapped around her. We removed all the line and released her. She had beautiful markings and big brown eyes. She swam away healthy. We still had two rods out. We used fresh caught mackerel heads and casted them out on heavy spinning gear.
We walked back out to the sandbar multiple times casting with many hits. Swimming for hours and soaking up the sun. Certainly time well spent, and memories made. The sun was starting to set. A beautiful orange glow slowly making it way closer to the beachline. The tide was rising. Little pockets of water sat all over the beach, with the glowing sun reflecting over it. It was an epic sunset and the sound of line peeling from one of the spinning rods topped it off.
Teammate Britini didn't hesitate and took off running for the rod. She was extremely excited. The sun was still slowly setting. The hook was set and the drag was singing. The shark was fighting hard, the rod bending. Britini had to pump fast. She was winded, her and the shark fighting hard. She got it close to the shoreline and into the surf. Her smile grew as the sun slowly sank lower. Teammates helped in landing the beautiful shark. There was some speculation in regards to the species of the shark. The final conclusion is what we believe to be a fine tooth shark. This is the first time anyone on our team has landed this species. The teeth sharp and his eyes a transparent blue. Britini was super stoked to catch the beautiful shark. We quickly released him and the shark swam safely away. Britni's son was there and very proud to see his Mom land the shark.
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