Take What She Gives You

When fishing, you just have to take what Mother Nature gives you.  Or, be willing to stay home.  On Sunday, Mother Nature gave us conditions that had me thinking about staying home.  A strong wind blowing against the incoming tide made for standing waves in the Wando River.   The heavy wave action made for poor water clarity.  Simply awful conditions for targeting Trout on the fly.  While preparing my skiff to launch, the thought of going home did cross my mind.  I was on the fence.  So, I asked Brody (the amazing fishing finding and stock trading dog) what we should do.  He responded by jumping into the skiff.  We were going fishing. 

It was a wet and bumpy ride up the Wando.  Brody and I quickly changed plans and tucked into the relative calm of Beresford Creek.  We pulled up to a wind sheltered shoreline with lots of oyster bars.  The water clarity was not great but is was better than everyplace else.  In these conditions, the fly rod was out of the question.  I picked up my favorite 8-pound class spinning outfit and tied on a Z-Man 1/5-ounce NedlockZ jig with a Finesse TRD lure.  After the wet ride, Brody was more interested in getting dry than finding fish.  So, I made a random cast to an irregular spot in the shoreline and a Trout ate the Finesse TRD.  Somehow or another, Brody and I stumbled upon a hot Trout bite.  Most were small, in the 12 to 14-inch range but we did not care.  Awful conditions.  Lots of Trout.  We thanked Mother Nature!

For the next few hours, we searched for areas out of the wind with oysters and better water clarity.  Almost every time we found this combination of elements, we also found Trout.  I patted Brody on the head and thanked him for making me go fishing.  A few minutes later it started to rain.  Brody said it was time to go home.  Who am I to argue with a fish finding and stock trading dog?  We called it a day.

Shark Fishing

Shark on Shark Violence

Sharks are an overlooked sportfishing species.  They are large, powerful and abundant.  However, they can be a bit of a challenge to catch and release.  Especially, if you target them with lures.  This week, I set out to do just that.

Recently, at the nearshore reefs, small sharks have been eating the Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish that I have been catching.  At first this was a frustrating experience.  Upon further reflection, it became a new fishing opportunity.  So, I put away the light tackle and began casting a Shimano Flat Fall jig on 30-pound class spinning tackle.  After a few casts, a small shark ate the jig.  The 3-foot shark was over matched by the heavier tackle and it quickly came to the boat.  While I was trying to take a boat side picture of the little shark, a big shark ate it.  Somehow, the 6-foot shark got hooked in the mouth by the Flat Fall jig and a battle of epic proportions began. 

The initial run was fast, taking nearly all the line off the 30-pound class spinning reel.   Thankfully, the shark made a U-turn and swam right back to the boat.  This allowed me to recover most of the 30-pound PowerPro fishing line.  When the shark saw the boat, it turned and made another long run.  For the next 30 minutes, this process was repeated several times.  At one point in the fight, I thought about breaking the shark off.  But I knew without a photo, it did not really happen.  So, the battle continued.  Eventually, by some miracle, the big shark came to the boat.  After taking several pictures, I released the behemoth and watched it swim away.  For some reason, I thought this was funny and spent the next few minutes laughing. 

Yes.  Sharks are an overlooked sportfishing species!