I stepped way, far out of my comfort zone recently after accepting an invitation from an old friend and hunting companion, to join him in the Gulf of Mexico in pursuit of sharks. Now folks, if you’ve read a handful of these columns, you’ve probably figured out that I’m a bit of a landlubber. It’s true, I do enjoy a good fishing trip from time to time, but more often than not, it’s just sitting out on the bank of the Withlacoochee with a cane pole and a can of worms. Shark fishing though…. That’s a mighty foreign concept to me.
I reckon in all honesty, I’m not completely dumb about fishing as the first thing I read each month in my Woods n Water Magazine, is Capt. Rick Burn’s fishing column. It’s good stuff; I just never get to enjoy the opportunity to put all that savvy he’s taught us to the test. I came awfully close to bowing out of the trip, but my invitation was for myself and a plus-one and upon mentioning the offer to my companion, Cheyenne; I became committed!
We made the trip down to Venice, Florida on a Friday evening and were on the Gulf of Mexico, aboard our host’s boat and flying across the waves to a spot twenty miles offshore to an artificial reef. The boat was huge by my standards and had all sorts of electrical doo-hickeys and gadgets, which I couldn’t possibly tell you what they were or how they worked. All I know is they began reporting to our skipper that there was one heck of a lot of fish nearby and he surmised the big predators ought to be near too.
In no time, we had his big and heavy rods bent over and line stripping from the reels! The sharks were hungry and spent no time at all attacking the free meal we were offering and I can tell you one thing I learned; you’d best do some cardio workouts before you tangle with those big toothy fishes. Because, by the time you tire one out enough to bring it alongside the boat for photos and release, you’re likely going to be just as exhausted from the struggle as the shark. It was really an adventure I recommend all of my friends seek out, as I can just about promise you, I’ll be going back again.
I have quite a few adventures coming up to tell you all about; turtling the Mississippi River Delta, surveying the bison population of Antelope Island in Utah’s Great Salt Lake, back to our Southernmost Keys for Iguana hunting and of course, more opportunities coming up to bag up a few Burmese pythons. Hey, with deer season so far away, I’ve got to do something to stay busy and stay outdoors. I hope you all find a reason to get outside and find adventures of your own!
If any of you would like to share a picture from your own adventures, or a story of your success on the hunt, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] God bless and good hunting!