When our guests ask for something big, we often ask if they would like to do some shark fishing on their Fort Lauderdale charter. This time of year, if we have some current, is an excellent time to land one of these large predators. While we weren?t exactly targeting sharks solely, we like to keep our options open, we did have a few baits out just for shark in case one came along.
The tackle we use for these fierce fighters are large reels with heavy line, something you can really pull on to help land the fish in a somewhat reasonable amount of time. But just because you have the heavy stuff out for shark, it doesn?t mean that?s the bait a shark will eat. And that was the case today with Flo, Mike, Robin and Jeff from Utah.
We fish much lighter tackle in the kites for Sailfish and after catching a Kingfish, our first bite of the day, the rod went off and Flo, about to celebrate her birthday, was called to tackle whatever had eaten the long right bait? We never saw the fish eat.
The fish had stripped us down to the backing as we reeled all other lines in and began chasing Flo?s fish down. Many times she said ?I can?t do this? but Mike encouraged her to keep going. After almost an hour, we got a look at Flo?s fish, a large Hammerhead shark. Getting him close to the boat was Flo?s job and she had done just that. We never boated her fish, the light tackle gave way as the fish turned to run. After all, 60# leader can only take so much abuse.
With Flo spent, we reloaded and set up with our gear again. A free swimming Hammerhead cruised through our baits but didn?t eat. 20 minutes later, after missing a fish on the top bait, the bottom bait went off and this time it was on the heavy gear. Jeff was called on for the angling.
I don?t remember how long it took but it sure wasn?t an hour. LOL Another Hammerhead was up and ready for release. It took a bit of doing but we finally had him on board to remove the hooks, measure the fish, take a few photos and release him back to the sea. Hammerheads are protected in Florida waters. If you look closely at the picture, you?ll see Andrew?s feet up on the cap rail. That?s where the fish chased him once boated. The blue you see on the fish is where he rubbed on the bottom of the boat.
We tried for another fish but ran out of time. Sorry Mike, you?ll just have to come back again. It?s how we build our repeat business.
Shark fishing charters in Fort Lauderdale can be very exciting. Usually one will do it and you?ll be ready for something smaller.
Capt. Steve Souther
Fort Lauderdale Off Shore Fishing