A Sharky Situation
Our waters here in the Florida Keys are absolutely loaded with sharks... offshore, inshore and everywhere in between. Fear not as they don’t seem to have a taste for people, but rather an insatiable hunger for fish. The one that is hooked to your line in particular! This past month seemed just a bit more toothy than usual.
The wrecks just off the reef are known for their sharks. Usually they are manageable, and you can get a fish or two past them. However, on one particular trip In October, they were all over! We anchored out on a wreck in deeper water and laid out a chum bag hoping to bring up the live baits from the wreck. A large school of speedos (red tailed scad) showed up within minutes. These large baits are great for just about everything.
Moments later, the first shadow appeared behind the school of feeding bait fish. The first sharks had arrived. This followed by a second... and then a third - all before we had even really begun to fish.
I fed one a cut speedo rigged on wire just to get the action started and he took off straight down to the wreck and broke us off.
I had laid a live bait on the surface behind the boat hoping for a blue water pelagic to swim by but the sharks found it first!
We all looked up as we heard something crashing the water and were lucky enough to see a large spinner shark flying through the air as he felt the sting of the hook. The spinning rod that the bait was connected to had a tough time handling the shark but eventually he got close enough to touch the leader before breaking off.
After all of this, we finally were able to get a bait down to the bottom in search of a mutton snapper or really just anything else besides a shark. We hooked up multiple fish... all of which lasted a matter of seconds before being consumed by the sharks. I even went so far as to rig up the high speed electric reel that we use for deep dropping with a snapper rig and we still only made it 20 feet up before it was eaten. Some days it’s better to find a new area to fish.
A few days later, we anchored on another wreck in shallower water and finally found some success at getting past the sharks. We ended up hooking some yellowtail snapper on the bottom up to 25” and got maybe half up to the surface with many smaller sharks eating our baits along with the yellowtails.
Sometimes the sharks can be a nuisance and other times they can be a whole lot of fun. It all depends on how you look at it. As long as a few fish make it to the surface for dinner then the sharks can become a nice addition to a day filled with action. Sure beats boredom!
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