So after a day that inclduded taking the puppy for his booster shots – i finally got out to do a little “Scouting” come 5 in the afternoon. The water was calm (and very brown) out to about a mile from the inlet. The only boat on the water, i headed out to a very eerie (and quiet)315 in order to inspect things. I quickly caught some flounder (but there werent any spanish to be had on the light-line) and lost what i think was a nice flattie when my phone rang. It always seems like phone calls seem to stir up trouble – so i talk with my dad a bit and when i was scanning the horizon i saw a big splash. So i focus on the point (about 1/2 mile away) and about 20 seconds later a HUGE sailfish rockets out the water shaking its head – it’s back arched inward, it’s bill very distinct I was 100% sure what i saw. Ten seconds later, another sail skies out the water and was followed by two more jumps – a pod of sails three miles from the beach? Not too unusual actually – its seems as if a pod is sighted from a bogue banks pier every year. So back to my story – i hang up the phone and decide to check out this action.
Three minutes later I motor up to the sporadic splashing to be greated with what looks like spanish or jacks breaking the surface. A couple casts of a sting silver reveals nothing, so after glancing at my debth-finder and seeing large marks i drop down the stingsilver on my ultralight spanish rod and one jig later, something nearly spools the little reel before breaking the line at the leader. Not sure what to do, i grab t he closest rod – a live-bait king rod with a TLD-15 and put on a rock-hard frozen cigar minnow. Just about this time, i notice that my debth-finder is marking very large individual fish at about 20-30 feet. So, while letting line out to hook this rig up to the down rigger something grabs the frozen cigar and peels the drag. Within two minutes, with a fully cranked down drag, the mystery fish peels off nearly 700 yards of 20lb test, jumps three times and breaks the rig at the leader before breaking off. Its splashes were huge and the fish very large and silver – a large tarpon, giant shark, perhaps?
So, with the adreneline pumping, i grab my next closet rod – another king rod with a TLD20 attached – and again, in the process of letting out the liner, i get an instant hook-up. This time, the fish fights a bit differently than the first fish but very, very hard- pretty early on, i could tell it was a large shark. Forty minutes later I finally get the fish to surface – a very, very large blacktip shark – my best estimates were 10-12 feet and 200-300lbs (I’m not good at guessing the weights of sharks, i may be way off) but he was easily half as long as my 21 foot boat. Easily the largest shark I’ve ever caught. After a few more minutes of fussing, i gave the guy a good pat on the head and cut the line. Put up the rods and headed in – man, i can’t wait to get back out on the water!