Saturday, November 7, 2015

A Shark Day of at Fort Desoto

Jenny patiently cast her line toward the pass. A strong outgoing tide flowed past us but she had a good rig and was able to hold her shrimp long enough to get a bite. Unfortunately her circle hook must have been too large and she  missed fish after fish.
We had decided to brave the record hot temperatures and spend the day at the beach, The temperatures here have reached the nineties and are more typical of August instead of November. Armed with lots of water, beach chairs and a nice cabana we hiked to the spot that I thought might hold fish. It was the firs time we had live shrimp and I hoped we could actually catch something big enough for dinner.
After setting up the portable shade, okay I mostly watched Jenny and Renita before I stepped in to help, With a shady spot assured I grabbed my pole, put on a live shrimp and cast out into the racing water.
I started with a popping cork and I had to walk along the beach to keep up with the tide. My bait fouled with sea grass and so I kept moving until I was actually fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing bothered my bait and so I went back and drank some more water.
After lunch I changed my rig to what I would call a Carolina. Its a slip sinker with a thirty pound leader ending with a small circle hook. I again made several casts and was soon my bait had carried into the Gulf. I wound and paused and I felt the fish strike the line. It ran and set the hook, I love circle hooks, and I was onto a nice fish!
It stopped running and I thought it wa probably a sting ray but as I neared shore I saw the tell tail dorsal fin, shark! It was a large bonnethead and I was able to guide it back toward the cabana. Renita and Jenny both took images.
Now bonnetheads are a tasty shark and we do love them grilled. but someone had forgotten the fish carrier, (I also forgot my sunglasses). It was a lucky day for the full grown shark as I successfully released it and watched it swim away.
Taking a sun break we both watched Jenny from the shade and before too long she was fighting a fish! Another bonnethead and it was her first shark.. People gathered to watch and she landed and grasped the fish. The hook fell out and so she was also able to make a successful live release.
The day was getting long and so we headed back to the truck. We did stop at the fishing pier but nothing was happening. Our last fishing of the day was at the docks near their condo and I caught a small unknown fish. It had been a great day on the beach, and a lucky day for a couple of sharks that normally would have been destined for the grill. Clear skies

Bonnetheads are small sharks and a large one is about three feet/one meter in length.

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