Blast From the Past

While I patiently wait for the opportunity to get down to the coast to catch some big redfish and specs, I have been forced to stay near the house and make a few short afternoon trips to the lake in my neighborhood with the flyrod.  I have had lots of fun catching and releasing plenty bream and a few small bass.  However, while browsing my hard drive, I came across some of my old fishing reports from days gone by and decided to post a few here to get pumped up for the time when I can go down to the coast again. Enjoy!

This report was dated July 29, 2000. We headed out to my double secret honey hole—the deer stand.  This place is so special, especially to those women who have caught bull redfish there (Loretta and Lisa).  Anyway, we started catching fish on the live shrimp that we had left.  Mike (broher-in-law) lost a few to sharks before Katrice (my sister) and I hooked into a couple of really nice sized trout.  Then I managed to catch more trash fish—sheephead, a stingray, and a rock crab.  We continue to fish until the live bait ran out.  I tried to catch fish on artificials without any luck.  Our tally was 16 beautiful specs in the box.  I decided to go to another spot I knew about to catch some live pogeys to use for bait.  I was successful in catching about 40 or so very large pogeys, so we cruised back to the deer stand to see if we could catch some “mule trout.”  These pogeys were about 8 inches long, which was really too long for specs, but we were going to try it anyway.  Well, right away, we kept getting shark hits.  You know it’s a shark hit when you feel your line move out and the first time you put pressure on the line to set the hook, the fish runs extremely fast and then cuts your line.  After about a half hour of “playing” with the sharks, I tied on a steel leader to Mike’s pole and gave him the last living pogey.  Mike made a short cast and the pogey was in the water only about 3 seconds when a large black tipped shark inhaled the bait. Mike set the hook, and the fight was on.  The shark would make several long, fast runs, stripping line off Mike’s spool.   I followed with the trolling motor to take some of the pressure off him.  He fought the fish for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Each time the shark would get close enough to see the boat and us, he would fly off in the other direction.  Finally, we knew the fish was tiring.  I tried to grab the tail of the fish to hoist it into the boat.  Every time I grabbed its tail it would thrash violently and strip off more line.  Finally, I told Katrice and Mike to stand next to the shark so I could get some good pictures.  I decided to try to stun the fish so I could get it on board so Katrice and Mike could get an up close picture of the beast.  So I hit it with the metal rod that holds my swivel seat in position.  I hit the shark so hard that the force exerted on the fish, clamped its teeth shut, stunning the shark into biting through the steel leader.

In closing, Mike and Katrice enjoyed themselves tremendously.  They had smiles on their faces from the moment we left the landing until the moment they returned.  I’m sure the trip will leave memories that will be imbedded in their hearts and mind for a long time.  We were especially proud of Mike for finding his way back to the landing without his guide, Captain Kevin.  You see, during Mike’s struggle with the four foot black tip shark, the monofilament line got tangled around the boat motor.  The captain reached his hand in the water to untangle the line.  Unknown to our hero, the shark had made a deal with his 20 foot friend, a great white, that he would lure the captain close enough to the water where the great white could grab a quick meal.  Bon Appetite!

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