Jul 6, 2014, 4:13 AM
It started like any other fishing trip we run here in Fort Lauderdale. Good morning, get their names and where they are from. Mark and Amy, like so many couples, just out for a good time and Amy says she wants to catch something big.
Big Hammerhead Makes Our Day
So out we go to see what we can catch, just the two of them on board with Adam and me. We begin trolling and right away hook a couple of Bonitos by the sea buoy. Both people fighting their respective fish, Mark on the long deep line, Amy on the short. It’s always good to catch a few right away in the trip, give our guests something to bend the rod with.
But as time went on, we found it wasn’t going to be a hot and heavy day with the fish biting every few minutes. We had to do some searching and caught a few, missed a few. One fish was a 20 lbs. Kingfish that Amy landed. As a matter of fact, I think mark only caught 2 of the 5 or 6 fish we caught trolling. The big King had Amy excited about catching something big and mentioned catching a shark. Oh sure, she wants a man eater…
While most our best shark fishing is late winter and spring, there had been a few around and we rigged some baits and deployed them. We fish a surface, mid bait and bottom bait when putting out a full spread, deployed in that order. Adam was sending the mid bait down and was maybe 60’ from the boat when he yelled “GO”. Something had eaten the mid bait on the way down to depth.
Amy parked in the fighting chair, rod strapped in with the safety lines, the battle began with Mark videoing the entire affair. International 130’s are the biggest rods we used and this fish was owning us. Amy said she just couldn’t do this but Adam coached her through the tough spot and then put the reel in low gear which helped her fight her fish.
It took 20 minutes to get the fish to the boat, remember it ate the bait just 60’ away from us. Adam got the leader in his hand but this fish was not ready and still had plenty of power. We estimated the fish at 7.5 to 8’ long. And then, Amy’s hammerhead shark decided this boat thing was not for him… And left.
Amy was kind of disappointed as the fish swam out more line than he had taken before and the battle began all over again. But Amy had new wind in her sails and now was determined to land this fish again, even though she had caught it once.
The fish was finally caught again, the hook removed, he was measured, photographed and released. Hammerhead sharks are protected in Florida waters. We can only estimate the weight of this fish around 300 lbs. or so but his length? 109” exactly. For a male, that is huge.
Our trip was over, Amy and Mark were done and after all my years of doing this, I still enjoy hearing my customers say how cool that was.
Great part is? I get to do it every day.
Keep em tight… Keep em on.