We get many requests to try for a Shark when charter fishing off Ft. Lauderdale. But today, when Vijay and his family, from south of Chicago showed up, I didn?t expect the request as I looked over the group. I asked Vijay what they would like to catch. He said whatever but the girls would probably like a Shark. It?s usually big burly guys that want a Shark, not an 11th grade girl and her younger sister. But since some small Silky sharks had been in our area, I thought they could handle that, no problem, but we?d troll a bit first to try and catch some other stuff too.
Trolling only produced one small Blackfin Tuna. The radio was quiet as the winds calmed and the day wore on so Chris made ready to fish for shark. We managed to get the kite up with one bait in it in case a Mahi or Sailfish was around, set our shark baits and waited. Something in the 2 to 3? range would be perfect for these young, slender girls.
With about 30 minutes to go in the trip, Alyssa, the youngest, said she saw a rod move, one of the big rods. It didn?t appear anything was going on? No twitch or bend, no pull, nothing. Sometimes small Snappers will pick our baits apart on the bottom. But just a few moments later, that bottom rod did bend and start taking line. This was no 2 to 3? shark; one that size wouldn?t move that rod much. We had hooked something much bigger!
With Nicole in the chair, I don?t think she can weigh more than 100 pounds and her hand barely fit around the handle on the reel, she began listening to Chris tell her how to fight the fish and fight she did. It took almost 30 minutes to bring the fish up from 350? before we got a look at what had taken the bait. A 6.5? Bull Shark was attached and not very happy about his situation.
Chris and I managed to get the fish into the boat, remove the hooks and get a measurement before releasing it but our prey was not posing for pictures. Pam was snapping shots but never got a really good one. This shot in the water was the best. I was busy holding the fish while Chris removed the hook. The fish made a hasty retreat once back in the water.
Now? While this had been going on, I had seen another shark up on our surface bait. He had thrashed around a bit and then nothing. When it was time to bring the gear in, Chris wound the rods up, the last being the surface bait and there, attached, was a small Silky Shark. I few pictures were taken and he too was released back to the sea.
We headed home, the girls fought over the biggest and best tasting, a battle that was quite animated and all were happy. Charter fishing off Ft. Lauderdale for sharks or anything, you just never know what will bite.
Captain Steve Souther
Ft Lauderdale Fishing Off Shore