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Jekyll Island shark report

7209 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  CJ21
I woke up yesterday wanting to fish so I threw all of my gear in the truck and made the 100 mile trip to Jekyll Island Ga. When I got there it was almost low tide.

I set up a bait rod with salted shrimp and octopus and a heavy heaver baited with menhaden. Right away I started to catch several small sharpnoses and a small scalloped hammerhead on the octopus.

I started to chat with a very nice family who were on vacation from Iowa. The children had never seen a live shark and they were thrilled to see them.
My menhaden had been soaking about 45 minutes and I looked over and saw my Ocean Master heavy surf rod with a nice bow in it and my Saltiga 40 clicker began to sound off. When I grabbed it and tightened the drag I knew I had something nice. The shark took alot of my line off on the initial run and I was into the braid backing in just a short time. I took out my camera and made a short video of how it was taking out line.
YouTube - Blacktip shark taking drag on Jekyll Island. Daiwa Saltiga 40
I fought it back and forth for about 20 minutes and the shark fought harder than any other I can ever remember on casting tackle. I finally got all my line back and when I got a few wraps of my shock leader on the reel I handed it to the gentleman from Iowa. I walked out and grabbed the leader and saw why it was pulling so hard. The shark somehow got foul hooked in the pelvic fin. I was never able to get his head turned around during the fight. On the beach the shark only flopped one time and did not make any other movements except move his gill slits.
YouTube - Jekyll Island blacktip shark foul hooked in the pelvic fin

I quickly unhooked the shark and posed for a couple of quick pics. I didn't even measure him and got him back in the water in less than a minute. I waded him out in the water, revived him for a few minutes, and saw him slowly swim away. I was so pumped up I gave my fishing buddy a call and let him know about the catch.

Fast forward 45 minutes and I began to talk with a fisherman from Ohio. When I was talking to him I saw my shark wash up on the beach about 50 yards from where I was fishing. I ran down there and saw it tipped to the side barely moving his gills. I walked it out and tried my best to get him revived for about 15 minutes. I gave up when I didn't see any gill movement or any other sign of life. I was really bummed out that the shark died on me. I guess I should have done more to try and revive it prior to release. I thought he would be okay because he swam off on his own. Maybe he died was because he was dragged backward for over 300 yards. I really don't know. I was excited about the catch but I did not want the shark to die on me.

The fisherman from Ohio wanted the shark to eat so we gutted him and he immediately left to go to his rental house on the island so he could process the carcass. I did get a measurement on the shark and he had an overall length of 5'4". I felt better knowing that the shark would not go to waste. I would have kept the meat but he wanted it so I let him have it.

I fished the rest of the incoming tide but the current and weed got so bad it was hard to keep baits on the bottom. I packed up and drove the hundred miles back home.
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I wonder if the gills got fouled up with sand when you your dragging him onto the beach backwards? Maybe the shark couldn't get any oxygen because of the sand in it's gills. Only thing I can think of.
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