Hunting in The Beach

Learn how to hunt in sea and water

It is a personal reality that during summertime hunting move from the deeper waters just offshore into inland waterways and beaches. Why do they do that? Well, the hunt seeks warmer shallow waters to handle mating rituals and also to either lay down eggs or give live delivery. Why is this important? It is vital if you are thinking about going swimming or in landing massive seafood from the lender. There is entirely no other kind of fishing (that I understand of) where in fact the angler comes with the exceptional potential for hooking to a 500lb plus seafood while angling from the lender.

Living close to the Gulf coast of Florida during my youngsters my children would take at least one holiday each summer months to the beach. The week-long holidays at the beach will often get just a little boring for a youngster who was raised in the Wood Bottoms of middle Georgia. Angling was the response to my problems. I began doing some light browse angling but soon understood that there had been indeed more significant seafood in the ocean.

Using one trip, in particular, I used to be presented to shark hunting as I understand it today. A pal and I needed to be made our way right down to the Pensacola Beach Pier for a day of getting Blues, Spanish, Kings and ideally a Cobia. We fished like we always acquired with live menhaden and acquired the average day. Some Spanish, a reasonably hefty ruler and more blues than we understood how to proceed. We started to assemble our equipment for the walk home when another fisherman was coming to the pier. As the man made his way down the dock, I pointed out that he was keeping the most significant fly rod and reel which I acquired ever seen. I needed to approach the man.

WHILE I first contacted the man, he was helpful and friendly. However, when I began probing him about his angling techniques, he quickly shut down. I could inform (from many years of dealing with seasoned wiser hunting) that guy acquired a key about angling and I needed to learn it.

Well, Mike (my hunting pal) and I put a meeting there on the pier and made a decision that people would stick to the dock watching the man and make an effort to find out what he needed such a considerable reel. THEREFORE I made an instant trip back again to the condominium to see my parents that people wouldn't typically be back still until late as well as for them never to wait up for all of us. After some haggling authorization was granted. I packed through to sandwich meat, a loaf of bread, crackers, beenie-weenies and sardines for our forever fishing trip.

When I came back to the pier about one hour before sunset, I used to be surprised that the man had yet to place his hook in the water. He previously been at the pier almost two hours and hadn't wet a range. When I contacted the man and inquired about why he had not been yet angling, he replied: "..I just have one bait..". Now I have already been fishing all my entire life, and I understand that when you decide to go fishing, you will need several baits. The man had to note the puzzled and baffled look on my silenced face, so he proceeded to go into just a little detail. He described as he opened up a chiller, that in shark angling it is good to have significantly more than one bait but that he was so skilled that he only needed one. Upon starting the chiller, the fellow removed a Spanish Mackerel that easily weighed 4lbs. I said, "...that is obviously a nice Spanish, will you barbeque grill it or fry it?" He replied, "It's my bait". "The whole lot?", "Yep".

Things were needs to get together now. I've heard about using big bait to capture great seafood, but this is just a little extreme. I QUICKLY saw a means for all of us to 'bribe' he into teaching us how to catch sharks. I offered him the Spanish Mackerel that people had caught early in the day. He instantly replied, "What do I must do on their behalf?" "Teach us how to do what you're doing".

We were in!! The man lightened up and said at least he'd involve some company on the desolate. With extra bait, the man instantly started rigging in the behemoth pole. He withdrew a metal cable head with an enormous hook using one end and a swivel on the other. He started explaining at length the intricacies of shark angling. "..the first choice needs to be at least 15 foot long or much longer, I love mine at least 20', and you also can't understand this stuff at a bait store, you have to visit the hardware store..." I questioned him about the hook and rotating; he replied that these were purchased from an area deal with a shop at $2-4ea. I quickly realised that shark fishing could get expensive quick. He glanced toward our 4/0 Penn Fishing Reels and scoffed "You guys are going to need some bigger tackle." In disbelief I asked "Do you need a reel as big as yours?" he replied, "If you want to catch big fish you have to have big tackle". His reel was a 14/0 Penn Senator and looked as if it would hold 5 miles of the braided 80lb test line that it was spooled.

I suddenly was stumped. How was this guy going to cast a 20' steel leader with a 4lb Spanish mackerel hooked to the end of it? My question would be answered using a kayak. The guy removed a kayak from his truck and began to paddle toward the end of the pier. Upon arriving at the end directly beneath us, he instructed for us to "carefully" lower the Spanish mackerel with a gaff-sized hook in it into his lap. We did as we were told and the guy was off paddling in a flash.

Ok, here is the situation: This crazy guy is paddling in a kayak toward the middle of the ocean, in shark-infested waters with a 4lb Spanish mackerel laying in his lap. At this point, I began to question the guy's sanity.

Paddling the bait out took no more than 5mins and very quickly the guy took his seat next to his reel. After fooling with the coil for a while, checking drag, engaging a clicker and securing the reel to the pier with a rope he sat back and opened a cold beer and said: "Now we wait." "How long?" I replied. "As long as it takes." he firmly stated for hunting.

After several long, tedious hours of catching catfish and an occasional foot long shark, I was beginning to grow tired of waiting. Could Hunting be worth all this effort and time? Not even a single bite on the big pole. Then I heard the sweetest most spine-tingling sound that a fisher could listen to. Drag! And lots of it, More than I had ever heard before. The large reel was producing the loudest most chilling sound that I could ever imagine. The collection had been stripped off at a phenomenal rate, and the guy was just seated there watching it. What was he doing? Obviously, the Shark experienced the bait why wasn't he establishing the hook?

He slowly began strapping himself into what appeared to be a fish fighting harness. Calmly picked up the reel and strapped it in the butt holder and clipped straps from his shoulders to the reel. I recognised that this guy was strapping himself directly to the reel! If something went wrong he would not be able just to let go of the reel; he was indeed one with the reel.

With line stripping off as if it were tied to the bumper of a Porshe the guy engaged the reel and the demeanour on his face changed instantly. With the ferocity of a college linebacker, he began repeatedly setting the hook while almost running backwards. When he reached the end of his walkway, he would reel down on the fish and practically jog back to the edge of the pier. This process was repeated two or three times. Then the fight began!

For the first hour, it appeared that he was going almost to be able to reel the fish directly. Kind of like cranking in a boat with a wench. The boy was I wrong. Seemingly the Shark was just swimming toward the pier and did not know that he was even hooked. When it appeared that the shark was getting close, he turned and headed out to sea. He ran and stripped drag for what seemed like an eternity. The line is leaving the 14/0 reel a hundred yards at a time. With adrenaline pumping, the excitement began to subside slightly. The guy was in a calm and focused mood with one thing on his mind. After a couple of hours fighting the guy (while still fighting the fish) asked me to reach into his cooler and get him water. What? This guy wants to drink water while he is fighting this monster fish? He explained that in the course of fighting a big fish it was essential to remain hydrated. I asked how long the fight usually took. And he replied that the fight time varies significantly from one fish to another, some lasting only an hour and some lasting 12-14 hours.

The battle was one of constant give and take he would reel in 100 yards, and the shark would take 200. An hour rolled into two, two to three until all track of time was lost. Soon we have awakened to what time it was as the sun began to creep up from the dark abyss in the east. This guy had been fighting this fish from a little after sunset until sunrise with no vast improvement in line on the reel. My realisation of the addictiveness of shark fishing came when the guy stated "... I hope this fish comes on in I have to be at work by 10: 00 am..." This guy had stayed up all night fighting this considerable fish (which we hadn't even seen yet), and he had to be at work in 5 hours. That's real Commitment and love for a sport.

It had been about 8:30 am whenever we got our first glance of the shark. The man said it appeared as if a Bull Shark and was probably around 12 ft long. It seemed to be similar to 20' if you ask me. As the shark started to the wheel, the question arrived if you ask me "What exactly are you heading to do now?" I asked, and he replied, "What do you suggest what I am heading to do now am, I'm gonna land this seafood take some pictures and go to work..." Sounded just like a good idea if you ask me but we were 20' from the drinking water on the pier there is no possible way to hoist the thousand pound seafood up onto the pier. Then everything started to come clear. The man was making his way down the pier toward the beach. When he reached the finish of the pier, he made his way right down to the beach. Us not significantly behind. The man worked well the shark at night first sandbar or more into the shallow waistline deep drinking water at the breakers. When the Shark seemed to have to go out of energy the man disengaged his reel and handed it if you ask me. "If he begins running just retain the reel." The man removed an amount of rope from his belt and started to wade out to the shark. Having a loop in a single end of the rope he gripped the sharks tail and guaranteed the loop around it. Having a grunt, he started to pull the massive seafood up onto the beach. With half the seafood in water and fifty percent out, he removed a water-resistant throw-away camera from his pocket and handed it if you ask me. "Take the complete roll beside me and the shark." I began snapping pictures and soon the move was eliminated. I converted around and also to my amazement we'd drawn an enormous crowd of individuals. Onlookers, visitor, kids, old people, a good few beach canines and a mangy looking kitty had been attracted to the fiasco.

Using the film in the camera eliminated the guy assessed the shark, untied the tail rope and strolled the shark out to deeper drinking water. He remained with the shark long enough for this to restore its power and ignore it. The defeated creature gradually slumbered out at night first sandbar and onto the next. I had been honestly in disbelief. He got fought this seafood all night along with his blood sweat and probably some tears and then ignore it.

After I questioned him concerning this, he merely replied, "Where else is it possible to spend $20, capture a thousand pound fish and have a blast all night doing it. I do it for the fun of it. I catch fish people only dream about, and I let them go so I can catch them again." It was then that my perspective on fishing was changed forever. It is not about what you take home for the table; it's what you choose a home for yourself. Don't get me wrong I love to fish, and I harvest many fish each year to eat, but I let the big ones go. They have made it this much, why should I be the one to end it to them.

Then I recognised something: It was all worth it, the reel, the pole, the bait, the hooks, collection, money and time. It was all worth it.

Five weeks later after saving every paycheck from my summer season job I ordered my first shark fishing reel a 16/0 Penn Senator for $300 from Bass Pro Shops. I also ordered line, 3000 backyards of Braided 80lb test $250 and a pole to put it all on $120. Ever since that night time on the Pensacola Pier I have a new habit in my life Hunting. I have been to beaches all over the South Eastern United States combing the beaches and piers for just the right sandbar, only the correct current and tide. I usually rent a kayak from the local Beach Supply Store, and we typically camp or rent a hotel. The bait is hard to find and expensive. I have found the best places to see fresh fish reaches a fish market, and usually, Asian fish markets have a much more extensive selection to choose. My most successful baits are as follows: King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Jack Crevalle, Bonito and lastly Mullet.

I have since caught many sharks and several over 10 ft long. All of them off of a Beach or a Pier. I have also launched several friends to my habit, they too have seen the light and purchased equipment. Shark fishing is something the whole family can truly enjoy. It's not only about catching the fish. It's about good friends, family and beautiful beaches.

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