I’ve been fishing since I was knee high to a grasshopper, maybe since I was about 5 years old. As I think about one of my earliest memories, I can picture myself sitting on my old man’s tackle box on a rocky shore soaking a bait. I remember eyeing the bobber like a hawk waiting for something to hit. During that trip I recall snagging a blue crab. Another early memory that I have fishing with the old man, was one evening when he took me out after work. I remember he was still in his work clothes, and I even remember the pocket protector he had in his shirt pocket. I hooked a fish, and if my memory serves me correctly, it was a flounder. When I got it close to the shore it started splashing and it startled me. I remember screaming, dropping my little rod and reel, and seeing it being dragged to the edge of the water. I can still see my old man running after the rod and grabbing it just before it got dragged into the drink.
As I got a little older I became the anchor boy on my dad’s boat. As the boat would approach the area where we wanted to fish, I’d be positioned at the bow with with the fluke anchor in hand. The old man would be intently scoping the area, looking at the fish finder, and using the fisherman’s gut to determine if this was “the” spot. He’d say “drop it”, and I would throw the anchor into the drink. Once I could feel the anchor digging into the bottom I’d tie down the anchor rope. Then the old man would shut off the boat engine, and say those words that always made me smile, “Let’s Fish!”
When I turned 16, I got my first car,a mustang. I remember the back seats would fold down and I could fit a couple rods running the length of the interior, from the trunk poking into the front seat. During the school week I would take my rods with me in the morning when I left for class. As soon as class would let out, I would drive to the beach. I can remember hooking a bull red in the surf, and it kept taking line. My hands were shaking and I was just hoping that I could get that fish to shore. I remember that fish ended up being about 35 inches, and it was injured toward the tail, possibly from a large crab because it was one straight gash.
When I was young, just getting out and catching fish, any fish, is what made my day. As I got older, catching keepers to take home was the goal. In recent years when I go fishing I only target large fish, preferably fishing from the surf, or canals with deep water around 50 feet or so. This type of fishing provides the perfect balance of relaxation and action. After I cast my line out I’ll put the rod in the holder, grab a seat, and pop open an icy cold brewski. But when that rod doubles over the action begins!!
Recently I’ve felt the need to take it to the next level. I don’t know, maybe these bull reds and big uglies just aren’t doing it for me anymore. So, I’ve been gearing up for land based shark fishing. Basically, its the same type of surf fishing I’ve always done, except its targeting sharks up to 12 ft long, possibly bigger for that 20 year fish. This type of fishing entails using heavier equipment, reels with large capacities and heavy rods. Additionally, you have to be able to get a large bait out about 300 to 500 yards off the beach to reach deeper water. Using a kayak seems to be the common method, but I’ve seen guys use zodiac boats or even jet skis to get the baits out. Anyway, I am in the process of gearing up for a June 2015 trip. I’m in full preparation mode, doing everything I can in anticipation of hooking a monster shark. I want to feel, see, and hear that drag peel!!! I want to take it to the next level…