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A story about my last tiger shark trip (long)

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Sharker, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. We started the day early. I had to drive an hour to meet up with my buddy at his house. It was 4am, on a Friday in July. We were going out to our shark hole to try to break our 4 year record of 9 tiger sharks in one day.
    After an hour loading gear, bait, and ice in the boat, we hopped into the truck and made our way to the boat ramp. It was 5am now. The sky was starting to show the morning glow as we headed north up the Intercoastal waterway to the inlet we would run out of 12 miles to the North. Around this part of Georgia (near St. Simons) the river is untouched, with nary a house on the river to show signs of civilization. We had a crew of 5 adults and a kid, that was only 10yo. I knew 2 others aboard, my buddy Brad who is the Captain, and another guy I fish and hunt with named Marty. The other 2 adults were clients of Brads, and so I would be resigned to do most of the work... something I excel at.
    We rounded a bend in the river, and could see the tell tale flicker of pogies, a local bait fish. Great, much easier to catch them in the river than on the beach. I readied the cast net as Brad motored up to them. This was going to be a long day on the water, so we needed alot of pogies for chum. After a a few throws of the net, we had 3 five gallon buckets full of the oily bait fish.
    We stowed the gear away, and readied the boat for the run offshore. As we reached the natural inlet, we encountered a steep ground swell from the incoming tide, but that quickly passed as we headed farther east into the bluer waters of offshore. Already I was hot in the Summers heat.

    We arrived on site, 16 nautical miles offshore, about 30 minutes later. As soon as the boat slowed, I set to work rigging the rods. We were using 50W tiagras today, spooled with 100 pound monofilament. The leaders we were using were a new creation... 15 foot 500 pound mono wind on leaders (it allows you to reel the sharks to the rod tip) with a snap swivel at the end. A 400 pound single strand bite leader seperated the hook from the mono by 3 feet.
    The first bait was deployed, a large chunk of kingfish, and sent to the bottom 55 feet below. The next bait was deployed on the surface, via a balloon tied to the snap swivel. This bait was always the funnest to watch, as tiger sharks arent to bright, they will usually spend more time trying to eat the balloon than the bait three feet below the balloon.
    It took about 15 minutes of hard chumming before the first shark showed up by the boat. It was a small tiger, at 8.5-9 feet. He made it past the balloon bait, and began to attack the two dead barracudas that were tied off on the stern cleat. After quickly reeling in the balloon bait, we were hooked up on number one of the day. This shark was no match for the heavy drag. Within 15 minutes, we had the shark on the leader, and stuck a NOAA tag into its dorsal fin base. The shark was measured, 8'11", and released. While we had fought that shark, three more arrived into the slick. The seas had lain down while we were fighting the shark, so now we were able to spot sharks all around the boat.
    To make a long story short, final tally was 14 tigers,(6-11.5 foot) all tagged and released. We had 4 doubles through out the day. We also landed 4 cobia.
    When we left at 4pm, the sharks were still feeding. We had 5 tigers in the slick (one was 12 foot plus) and 2 hammerheads (much better fighters than tigers). We would have stayed longer but the kid was tired and sea sick (we had let him reel in a 9 footer) and so we left them biting.

    I figured some of you may get a kick out of this... we do it all the time in the summer here. I figure I read yalls stories and enjoy them, so I may as well contribute some to yall. Hope you enjoyed. Pics to follow.
  2. Some pics [​IMG]
    Double hook up
    First shark tagged, about to be released
    Small tiger, littlest of the day
    The kid, and his dad fighting a shark. I am the good looking guy in the white shirt. [​IMG]

    Oh incase some are wondering, we were trying out an AVET that day as well, and it performed flawlessly.

  3. Awesome Stuff!!

    I applaud you for releasing the sharks. Do you get any return info on the tags? Curious to know how far the sharks are traveling.

    Thanks for the intersting post.
  4. I have tagged 48 tigers to date, and probably a hundred fifty other sharks ranging from Hammerheads (4), Blacktips (~50-60), Lemonsharks (~25), and then nurse sharks, bonnetheads, bullsharks, sandbars, duskys... well you get the idea.
    I have had three returns. One Lemon, that in 2 years had grown 1.5 feet and travel about 60 miles north. A Tiger that was recovered with in 100 yards from where it was tagged, and in a year it had grown one foot, and put on an est. 200 pounds. And a Bull that had stayed about the same lenght, despite being recaptured 2 years later... not sure on that one... although I recovered one once, that when I sent in the tag, amazingly the shark had shrunk by a foot, and changed from a Bull shark to a Sandbar (its a common thing to mis ID sharks and miss-measure them.)

    I have seen enough now that I can eyeball them to within 3-6 inches. Weight is a guess, cuz I never have killed a tiger and weighed it. We have killed three in my years of messing with tigers... two were the first year when people wanted the jaws (a huge waste which I wont repeat again) and one that was nailed by another tiger... which I have on video... completely awesome. (I just realized that the tiger in my avatar is the one that got chomped)
    Matter of fact the trip that the video link is from, we had a 8 footer being chased by a 12 footer. It was close, but the little one managed to dive under the boat and avoid the bite. If it would have happened, we would have been screwed cuz the sharks were less than 2 feet from the boat, and a flailing tiger can tear up some stuff.

    BTW every tiger we have caught has been video documented.
  5. Scratch that, I forgot to add the number of sharks we have tagged this year.
    8 first trip, all tigers.
    14 next trip, all tigers.
    My buddy went day before our first trip, and tagged 7 tigers.
    He went mid July tagged 5 tigers,
    went mid August, tagged 4,
    and went end of August, and tagged 4.
    so add that up, we are now at 90 tigers.

    This spot we go to is LOADED with them. On the first trip this year, we had been on site for 2 hours, had put out probably 40 pounds of chum and then a dive boat sets up 300 yards (much to close for this style fishing) to our 7, and then dives in. Even before they hit the water we could see sharks between us and them, and behind them, farther back in the slick. They were out of the water quickly and moving after a 20 minute dive. I bet they saw more than they wanted, as while they were in the water we had a double, one of which broke us off in their anchor rope.
  6. Awsome stuff there!!!

    I Shark fished a bunch off of Blackbeards and St. Simons years ago.

    I appreciate your admiration for Sharks. They are a marvelous creature.
  7. When you fished St. Simons did you fish the pier? The shark lady is kinda a friend of mine.

    We started a shark fishing club back in 2000, using advice we recieved from others.... it sucked. We would spend a weekend fishing from the beach of Amelia Island, and would catch one or 2 six foot black tips. Then we started trying new things. Now we can fish from the beach, pier, or Nassua Sound Bridge and consistenly catch sharks. The biggest thing I learned was 1. Dont believe everything you watch on Discovery Channel, and 2. Sharks are all different, but for the most part all do the same thing!

    For a while, we were always doing research. The group has broken up for the most part, but we all still shark fish (most have moved away)Lately I am to busy with work to shark fish that much. I still go, but this year I have only been 2xs.