This is the time of year that we do some Shark fishing off the Fort Lauderdale coast. But a recent catch added to a subsequent catch a few days later created a stir.
First is our catch, a Mako Shark, a fairly rare catch of the south Florida coast as they prefer cooler waters. Not only was catching one of these a surprise but how we caught it was even more of a shock.
You see, we were fishing for Sailfish, among other things, with semi light tackle (30# test) and mono-filament leader. These sharp teeth can easily cut that line and the fight is over. But as you can see in the picture, the hook is placed perfectly and with some luck, the leader and line held for an hour and the fish was landed.
Now the second catch was on our sister ship and was another Mako Shark. This catch brought some notoriety because they are rare but it also might have had something to do with the 3 NFL players on board as well. None the less, here is the clip from local news. http://wsvn.com/news/local/nfl-players-catch-mako-shark-off-south-florida/
Now I mention all this because a few days later I received a call from Cathy in Palm Beach. She had seen the news story and wanted to know if we had released the shark. When I told her no, she was very upset. At one point it got kind of funny as she said she didn’t want to argue but I think she did. I was never able to educate her on what really goes on.
Each year my boat releases somewhere around 50 or so sharks live back into the water. If we boat the fish to remove hooks, we put the fish on a water hose to help them breath. Sharks are an important part of our fishery and we like keeping it healthy. This is the first killed shark of my year and the first kill for my sister ship of these creatures. It could be the last as there are only 2 sharks that are considered excellent to eat, the Mako and the small eyed Thresher. And even when they are edible, we don’t necessarily bring them back to the dock.
Recreational fishing and hook and line will NEVER have any significant effect on any species in our oceans. According to NOAA’s data, recreational anglers account for 2% of all landed finfish. That is landed fish and doesn’t include the 100’s we release each year. Regulations, permits and other incentives protect our fishery further.
So when you see a fish on a dock or brought aboard a boat and the local news is there? It’s because the fish was landed. They don’t show up every day when we release them.
And that’s all I have to say about shark fishing off shore of Fort Lauderdale.