This area is for Shark'in Reports from all over, These reports must be catch and Release if you've gone shark'in put them here. All photos of sharks must be alive, there will be no tolerance for Photos of Dead Sharks.
This is one of those trips where so much went on that I don’t even remember details that well, so this will really just be the gist of things. Also, if you don’t feel like reading, there is a video report…sort of, at the end of the report.
We finally decided to head down to the coast again. We got down there at around 9PM or so, it was pretty late, and we just decided to chill and use our cast outs or fish for bait fish until the sun came out. I don’t remember anything too significant in terms of what was being caught except for Sheepshead. There. Were. Sheepshead. That was the main thing though, a few Whiting, some hard head, it was really just about getting camp set up and baits prepared.
Around 3AM in the morning one of my bros cast out baits got hit. It ended up being a nice little 3FT Blacktip. Nice little shark to get the day going. We fell asleep and waited for morning. For the first time in a while it actually wasn’t freezing on the pier over night (even in the middle of the summer it had a tendency to get cold). The sun finally came up and it was time to get our baits prepped and ran out. I had a Cownose ready for my 80w, my bro had a nasty, smelly, old Jack that had been soaking in Tuna blood and had been thawed out and re-frozen a couple of times for his Gold 80w, and I think a Pompano or something small for his silver 80w. He was going to run a huge chunk of cownose on his 6/0 but I think he ended up switching it out. There were a lot of shark fishermen showing up that day, so we had plenty of help and plenty of baits to run out.
My 80 went out about 500 yards, my brothers 80s both went out about 1000 yards. Around 1:15PM my brothers gold 80 got hit. It didn’t take more than 20 or so minutes because Zack, who was in the kayak, was still on the water taking out baits. The shark tried to give a little bit of attitude and put up a fight, but come on, an 80W and a 130-Unlimited class rod, it just got winched in. Although when it got close it revealed itself to be the biggest Blacktip I’ve ever seen in person and a personal best for my bro! I’m used to seeing them no more than 4 or 5ft, so this big, thick, pregnant female was a nice treat. She taped out at 5’10” with a 36 inch girth. As always, catch/tag/release.
About 2:40PM the skipjack on Zacks Tiagra got picked up. There wasn’t too much running or anything going on from what I can tell, just a lot of dead weight and maybe some head shaking. However, when she got close to the pier she spit the hook. At around 4PM Zacks 80W with a sheepshead got picked up. This was another heavy fish that was coming in not struggling to much, but it was a very heavy fish that guided Zack down the pier. Once the fish got up close to the pier it spat the hook and Zack went flying backwards. Must have been chewing on it. Dang, the fish are winning so far!
At about 6:30PM Robs 30W T-RX with what I believe was a sheepshead got picked up. This fish was a lot meaner than the previous fish that had been hooked up during the day, this one had some a bit more anger in it. Good! Rob wasn’t one to fight the fish with a harness, so he pumped the fish on his T-RX for as long as he could, then when he tired, he handed the rod off to my brother, got it back, then handed it off to someone else. This fish was a team effort, and this was on a deep 800+ yard drop. Finally the fish got up real close and revealed why it had been putting up such a tremendous fight, it was foul hooked! Go figure. Not like it matters though, because it was a T-RX after all It was another big pregnant Blacktip though. She measured 5’9” and was tagged and released. Almost forgot to mention, this is the first time we’ve had the chance to use our tagging kit, so it’s nice to get that done.
Around 7PM Matts 6/0 with a sheepshead got picked up. Fish on! I don’t quite remember, but this was Matts first shark ever or it was his first shark over 5ft, the general aim for LBSF. Either way, it was a first for him on a fish this size and he was stoked. The fish drug him up and down the t head and he even had to hand the rod off temporarily after getting worn out a bit. After a nice little fight Matt brought in a 6’1” Blacktip, another big healthy female to tag and release!
Most of the baits that were ran out had gotten picked up at this point, so most of the rigs were ran out again with fresh baits. Actually, my brother re-ran the nasty old Jack on his gold 80W again, just to see if it would get picked up a second time. Once again, it was ran out about 1000 yards. Around 8:30PM the Jack gets picked up again. I think that the line just went slack, I’m not sure if there was a run or not, these fish were being weird. Anyways, after the long process of reeling in all the line, made easier by the shark swimming in, the shark started to run to the left side of the pier, than all the way back to the right side of the pier. Most sharks just ran left and stayed over there, but this shark had a bit more vigor. She surfaced and it was a, Bull! Or Sandbar? Everyone else said it was a Sandbar, although honestly, there’s no doubt in my mind after viewing the pictures that it’s a Bull. In the heat of the moment at night you get confused easily. She…oh wait no, HE, taped out at 6’2” and would end up being the only male of the trip. Released him and watched him swim off strong. Also, this was on the nasty Jack head. Two sharks on one bait.
I forgot to mention, one of the shark fishermen, Manuel, crafted a net specifically for Bob Hall Pier. It’s a bit troublesome to handle and needs to be sent back for a stronger frame, but it’s 6x6 feet, you’ll see it if you check the video. It’s been doing good enough though. My 80W ended up getting cut off, which was a first for me. Oh well, first for everything. Plus, I didn’t really lose much line. About 9:30PM my bros silver 80W with a live southern ray gets rocked. None of these sharks were making screaming runs, it was all just a lot of slacking up, short runs, or rocking the rod. Whatever my brother was hooked into though, was a big deal. My brother went to set the hook and this shark actually ended up making him lose his footing and pulled him towards the railing. If you’ve seen my brother in person or have seen pictures of him, you know it takes a hell of a shark to do that to him. Everything was going smoothly and the shark was coming in, putting up a little resistance but not too much. Like the others, it was really heavy. Then, right when the shark was about to come to the surface towards the T head, it spit the hook. Dang! There was an entire southern ray, about ten pounds, sitting on those hooks. When we pulled up the leader, the entire Ray was gone, and there were teeth marks up and down the leader. That’s fishing for you. Think that was the first pickup on the silver 80 though. Also, before I forget to mention it, I’ll say it now, it was the live baits that got missed on this trip. All the bait that we had rigged in our typical fashion lead to us catching fish. Everything we rigged live is what tended to lead to misses. Seems like the sharks just chew on the bait until they see the pier.
Later that night Albert showed up and he ended up bombing his baits out 1000 yards each. He put out two big rays and a 30lb Jack. It was interesting watching him disappear into the night, kayaking further than most would dare to in the darkness.
I’m sure some pup sharks were caught on cast out rigs and whatnot, I just don’t remember. Alberts 80W with the Jack on it ended up getting cut off, for who knows what reason, but he lost a good bit of line. Cut offs would end up being quite an issue during this trip, as it happened to a couple of others as well. Around 9:30AM Alberts Z1 got rocked and not too long afterwards Zacks 80W seemed to have a shark on it as well. I didn’t get any pictures of them but they were both around 5 ½ feet or so. So basically, female Blacktips are in heavy right now.
It was time to run baits out again, and…man, there were A LOT of 80W up and down the pier. Things have really changed since the 1900s. In general, I think that if Albert never fished Bob Hall Pier, it would still be lined up with Penn Senators. But he said, even before he caught his big Tiger, people gained interest in them just after seeing how much faster and easier he brung in his weights compared to everyone else. I love the things. Anyways, running baits was this huge 1-2 hour long process having to run out what I think was around 13 or so Avet EXW 80W up and down the pier, along with some other lever drag reels and senators.
My brother decided to go get a shower after being in the water for such a long time and Albert walked down the pier to use the restroom. Me and a few of the other guys were watching the rods and my brothers gold 80W started rolling around 3PM. It was a nice slow roll, so it gave me time to strap into the harness and get the rod on. I’ve actually had a dry spell since my Tiger shark back in August. Since my 9’8” Tiger I have not caught one significant fish, not even bait fish. So anyways, I strapped in and went to reeling. 1000 yard drops are a bait to reel in but all of these deep drops were the first ones that were getting picked up. After a while Albert showed up thankfully and the shark finally made its appearance. A decent little Blacktip started running across the surface, and although it wasn’t big it was nice to finally have something. It ended up being a nice 5ft Blacktip, and the first shark caught on the silver 80W. Tagged, samples taken using Alberts kit, and released.
At some point some dude came blasting through on a jet ski, and I know you take a risk running baits out on a pier since the required distance is only about 100ft, but the dude purposefully shook lines and whatnot. Well, a police boat was actually after him. The first time it passed by nothing really happened, but then when the police boat came back…three 80Ws got cut off. Alberts got cut off, my brother got a huge backlash but it didn’t get cut off, Zacks 80 lost a bunch of line and got cut off, and Robs T-RX lost a ton of line and got cut off. So about $500+ worth of line gone just like that. That’s why I love dacron, it’s a cheap haha. I’m surprised that Alberts 80 that was dropped around 1500 yards didn’t get cut off though, weird. Anyways, around 6:30PM my brothers gold 80 with the Jack got picked up AGAIN. That’s right, 3 pickups on a bait that most would have trashed a long time ago. My brother was reeling and reeling, but the hook never set in good enough. The bite marks looked like a shark about 4ft or so picked it up. Oh well.
All day long the water was crazy. We actually saw a school of Bonita run across the surface. People were catching Spanish mackerel all day long. Pompano were being caught, and although we had been seeing these fish caught all of Friday as well, on Saturday in particular I noticed HUGE schools of Sheepshead around the pier. There were schools of maybe 100s all along the pier, it was crazy and limiting out on them took no time. At around 8PM my 80W got picked up for the first time. I was dozing off when they shouted that my rod just bowed and went slack. I reeled in all the slack, went to set the hook, and just felt dead weight. After a while of reeling I finally got to my leader and lost whatever I had. The sheepshead on my 80W had a small bite mark. So maybe a little 3 footer, although Hammers do have small mouths (I was aiming for Hammers the entire trip). My line got hung up on another line though, which explained why it got really heavy towards the end. We got snagged on a lot of old lines/leader throughout the entire trip, and there were reels on standby used to reel in all the extra mess. The line we reeled in was from Alberts cut off 80W, which had a sheepshead on it that had a huge bite taken out of it. Around 9:30PM Alberts other blue 80, the lesser child, got rocked. After a while of reeling and reeling and reeling the shark finally surfaced. People started to speculate Sandbar or Blacktip but I saw that big fat head and knew it was a Bull. Nice! We hoisted her up onto the pier, and she taped out as a healthy 5’11” Bull.
Around 11PM my brothers 6/0 with a sheepshead on it got picked up. This was the most significant run of the entire thing, the thing was freaking hauling. The reel went to screaming, but I couldn’t get it out of the hole in the pier. My brother went to go pick it up, but when he went to set the hook, although he felt dead weight, he figured it was just the weight sticking. The 6/0 would go on to get picked up about 3-5 times over the entire night. Hammer? Who knows, it never hooked up though.
Pup sharks were hitting like crazy all night long. We couldn’t even sleep because of how often rods were going off. We’d doze off for about 15 minutes and then ZZZZZZZ, a rod would go off. This was pretty much the process of the entire night, which lead to Albert tagging around 15 sharks while we were there, and about 30 sharks over the entire weekend. My brother ended up catching another 2 footer, and we missed plenty of them. They were plentiful.
Well that pretty much wraps it up, whatever I missed wasn’t important enough to remember. It’s only March and the season is off to a fantastic start for us. Looking forward to the next trip, we have our game plan for this year. And here is the video segment of the report: