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  #1  
Old 06-26-2003, 10:13 AM
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ruge13 ruge13 is offline
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More Balls than brains, looong story

Ran out of work and headed to Bob's in Winthrop. Picked up a dozen herring, chopped up 8 or 9 for chum and the rest were cut in half for bait. By 9pm I was standing on the Bass river rocks. Fond a nice dark non lit access to the beach side and started to unload. The trip down from Boston went really quick with visions of 3-4 foot brownies with smiled on there faces skipping in on my line. By 9:30pm, fully dark, I was out well past the no boating buoys off the beach just west of the outflow. Wrong tide I thought, but I am here so lets give it a shot. I took a couple hand fulls of chum and tossed them over, threw out half a herring on a 7/0 gamatsu octopus and a 3 foot 80lb wire leader straight to 50lb powerpro. I did my best to hide the big swivel end and the hook deep in the bait since sharks are sensitive to metal.
Every 15 minutes or so I threw out another handful of chum. After sitting there in the dark, drifting alone for 45 minutes y thoughts wondered. With the haze the lights from shore were dim and the kids playing on the beach in front of the Best Western were haunting, not welcomed. They seemed to come from every direction. There is something about being in a kayak at night. With wave action during the day you can anticipate the rocking and soften it with your body weight. At night, there is no anticipation, just reaction to the waves and the boat rock is exaggerated. This added to my wondering thoughts, that and the chum oil dripping down my hands along the paddle into the water didn;t help. So that little brown shark smiling turned into a 6+ foot beast with gnarly teeth and one eye gouged out that I swear was circling me when I heard every white cap curl. Most that know me would agree, I do stupid things some times and I would go out in anything short of the perfect storm to look for 1 lb bluefish 3 miles out, but get me a couple yds off shore at night, alone in the dark, fishing for the unknown and I am a trembling little wuss. I know its the same when fishing for stripers at night, but this feels different. Fish for stripers and you think about stripers. Fish for sharks and you think about the pictures of seals flying through the air on the discovery channel. Remember the scene from Jaws wit the 2 guys on the dock abnd the side of beef the hurl out into the water on a tire? Thats what it felt like. I could hear the music.
I have never been fishing and wanted so badly not to catch a thing.
An hour into the drift and a few handfuls of chum later, my thoughts were rattled by what at this point I hoped didn't happen. I had set the drag really light thinking I could get settled after the take, set the drag and then set the hook. I heard it, click click click click...so I picked up the rod, tightened let out some line, tightened the drag and reared back, big no no in a kayak. Anyway, the clicking turned out to be wave action and the drift acting on a bottom snag but it was enough to get my heart racing. After calming down I went back to chumming and drifted out another half herring. It was now bout 10:30pm. Thoughts wandered. I was ready knife on the deck, big pliers in my lap, camera, flares, ready and thoughts of the now 8+ft gnarly teeth scared up shark following me. 30 minutes later, click click click click...
I repeated the line, set, hook, drill and this time no bottom. I was waiting for the quick fast first run, with big jumps and 200yds melting off my reel like some had described. That I didn't get. What I did get was a fast first run, in one direction, maybe 50 yds. When it slowed and my boat had turned and was being dragged, I tightened down the drag thinking it was a smaller one and I could horse it in and wear it out. Again, another kayak no no. It didn't like that very much and quickened its pace in the same direction, fortunately towards the islands and not towards the outflow of the river. What seemed like an eternity later, lights were really dim off in the distance and I just sat there, line slowly pealing off, nothing I could do but sit there being dragged. I tried a few times to gain line, but it seams instead of slowing the fish I just pulled my boat closer to it. Total elapsed time was maybe 10 minutes. I couldn't have had more than 50 yards of line left on the reel since I only had about 250 to begin with. The fish began to slow and then changed directions to be parallel with the shore, but still heading west. A minute or two later the line parted. I reeled it in as fast as I could, turned around, and paddled like I have never paddled before back to drop point. I hit the beach out of breath and still shaking. I have never been so scared in my life. I never did see what I was hooked into but upon further inspection of the 3 feet or so of frayed 50lb line shredded above the 3 foot wire there is no doubt in my mind what it was. There are not too many rocks on the bottom in that area to fray line like that, just skin. I will still do stupid things, go out in rough water, where I shouldn't be. I will still try to catch a shark out of my kayak, but I can guarantee you it will NEVER be alone again. I wish I had a picture of whatever it was, but Martin Brody I am not, I lost 10 years off my life.
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Old 06-26-2003, 11:02 AM
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Mark Cahill Mark Cahill is offline
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Great story...

I needed that...
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Old 06-26-2003, 11:10 AM
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Good Stuff You big wuss
Get longer leaders.3 foot leaders are for 3 foot sharks.I would use at least 6 ft
Would have been nice to at least see those knarly teeth.
JoeV
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Old 06-26-2003, 12:14 PM
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Don't do that again! Go out alone, I mean. Take Sam with you so he can take pictures of you when the shark gets you.
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Old 06-26-2003, 12:40 PM
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Great story Shaun, thanks. I don't need to be fishing for sharks to get spooked alone at night. And yeah, don't do that alone. I'm shark ignorant, what possible species are we talking about? If the line parted, how do figure it was frayed 3 feet above the wire and not 8 feet.
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Old 06-26-2003, 12:53 PM
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Wus!!!!

You think thats scary, try Sunfish or even worse Perch at night!!
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Old 06-26-2003, 01:18 PM
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ruge13 ruge13 is offline
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What limited knowledge I have about them is all from articles, first hand accounts, divers, etc. I have been diving on a feeding session before, Florida, but never with northern sharks. From what I could gather this winter, we are talking about 3 primary species. The Brown (sandbar) shark is the most common of the three inshore in shallow water. They are occasionally spotted during the day but for the most part stay deep in low light until dark. Their diet consists of crabs, small fish, dead stuff, nothing aggressive. Around the islands in the summer I have read reports from sharkers and divers saying there are typically more sharks than people, they are just masters at being ghosts. I saw a documentary when I was in college about new England sharks and they had a helicopter video of the shallows around Martha's vineyard where they pointed out all the sharks shadows in the water. It seemed like 1 every 200 yards. Anyway, that was the target species. Also, in recent years making a comeback are the relatively rare Sand Tigers. They are slightly larger and even more skittish. Their diet consists more of fish, but are also opportunists. There dentition also makes this an obvious feature, they have teeth meant for grabbing not crushing. There have been reports of a few coming from Bass River rocks in recent years. The third is the dogfish, and from what I understand is rarely found in shallow water. There is a fourth, the "sand shark" but those are immature brownies from what I have heard. Farther from shore there are the sport species Blues, mako, occasional thresher, prbeagles at various times of the year but they are not found inshore in shallow water. So that's what I went with, stuff I read about how these are calm, docile, scared to death of humans despite their intimidating appearance.

Sounds great, but all that is out the window the second you start drifting in the dark with nothing to talk to but your glow stick and some herring chunks. Talking about them, reading about them, fishing for them from shore, or even a bigger boat and you laugh, and dream, and imagine how great it would be to be towed around and you need a 25 horse ride on mower with a trailer to carry your cohones. During the day, like on the west coast, sure, you can see, but paddle out at night, alone, and that's all gone, your cohones get sucked up inside like a squirrel running up a tree and all you see and hear in every white cape curling in the dark is teeth and fins. Like a 5 year old who just watched some werewolf movie being asked to go tike a hike through the woods at night on a full moon.

As for the line, this is true, who knows where it broke. Could have been a big striper or blue and it found a rock to rub me on, who knows. That's the humbling part...who knows. But I can tell you that by the end I had the drag cranked down so tight it was barely taking line. Any line I gained was from me pulling myself closer like a bottom snag, not me turning it. Before it changed directions it was just slowly dragging me along, I never seemed to tire it and never felt in control. I expected a good fight if I was lucky?? enough to hook one, like other reports have stated. Long runs, maybe some jumps, and general slashing around. This was not the case, just slow and steady, no aggression after the first run, this was sheer power.

I have no intention of doing that again alone, I am still getting chills just thinking about it. Not because of the danger (in reality you are fairly safe, based on the facts anyway, but that is a gamble), but because the mental part eats you from the inside while you sit there. Even if I was wading knowing I could just run out when I wanted to would have made all the difference. Sitting there in a small boat, on their terms not yours, that's what gets you. I can't tell you enough about what it felt like, even if I never hooked a thing it still would have been a humbling experience. Just sitting there rocking, you jump every time a wave hops up and moves your paddle a couple inches in your lap. Knowing I hooked something besides bottom, whatever it was, that I could not control, was eerie.
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Last edited by ruge13; 06-26-2003 at 01:25 PM..
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Old 06-26-2003, 01:37 PM
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I thought it might be browns. I asked because I believe I read that blues and makos come into Vineyard Sound when water temps are right, no idea where else they might come in.

Maybe take Sam next time but better find him a better nickname than "Baitboy".
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Old 06-26-2003, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wes
Maybe take Sam next time but better find him a better nickname than "Baitboy".
No Jim.... my nickname is the reason I didn't go. The prospect of 200 lbs. of lean chum slick gave Shaun this eerie twinkle in his eye. As soon as the 7/O hooks came out I high tailed it home
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Old 06-26-2003, 03:07 PM
RJ RJ is offline
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Shaun,

If you had brought along a brown paper bag used it to stop your hyper-ventaliting you would have realized that you hooked up to a BFT. No self respecting shark would even want to come close to that grey na d listing yak you claim is a superior fishing machine.

With a Pungo that big baby would have been toast!

Riley might take a year or two to get over the"Bait Boy" hoo doo he has stalking his catch rate, buyt you will go down in the annals of yakdom as "Mad as a hatter Ruge" Sam's crazy friend! I'm proud of you.

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Old 06-26-2003, 03:40 PM
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Finally, an east coast guy trying to prove we can do it here just as good as the west coast!

Let us know when the next kayak shark trip is scheduled.

Fine line between gutsy and dumb....
And we walk it all the time.
Cool story Shaun.
-G
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Old 06-26-2003, 05:10 PM
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If you need another half witted moron to shark fish off the Cape during the last week of July or the 1st two weeks in August, I'm in, but I have to warn you, I'll be fishing from an inflatable alligator, and jj will be filming me. I shark fish in shallow water, ussually less then 6 feet, I have caught them in 3ft though. Should be fun. Anyone else interested in a shark exursion, based off the beach, although I do have my yak to play around with, post or send me a pm. We should have an annual shark fishing tourny, hopfully it would produce more fish then the monomoy trip

mike
By the way, any reel suggestions? Oh and ruge, it sounds like your going to need a bigger boat!
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Old 06-27-2003, 09:36 AM
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ding, ding, ding, ding... nice job capemike88 on the "bigger boat" line, I was waiting for it.

Ruge: thanks for the ego-less confession of cowardice. kripes, what a lady! it's one thing to pee your pants, but then to write about it!!!!

seriously, what were you gonna do with the brute if and when you brought it boatside? I caught one from the backside of Griswold Point at the mouth of the CT River one dark and lonely nite... BOO! seriously, I thought it was a 120# striper, my first cow, but no! I had gotten out there by canoe but had beached the canoe and was fishing eels from shore. the shark went a good five feet and was an animal. nevertheless, I was praying that your story would end with a good striper. I'll admit that since that night, I've never looked at nite paddling those waters the same way.

cm88 is right, from a 12' tin boat even, you could have worn the same underwear to work the following day, but from a yak, I don't know if its worth it.

you and Riley are quite a duo, don't leave home without him! can't wait till your next adventure!
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Old 06-27-2003, 10:11 AM
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ruge13 ruge13 is offline
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I had the camera ready, pliers and knife on the deck. The plan (and we see how well my plan went) was to get it close, get a picture or two (hopefully with some teeth in it) and then cut the line or even better the leader with the pliers. I really didn't think I would ever see one anyway.

What actually would have happened, if was of any real size, I would have crapped myself and cut the line. Probably would have broken my rod trying to high stick it in close to. Camera would have ended up in the drink, if not me. Next time....
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Old 06-27-2003, 10:37 AM
jswegel jswegel is offline
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things that stalk ruge in the night

Great Story Shaun.

Send that line to Grissom on CSI so he can determine the name, length, weight, girth and mother's maiden name of the unseen beast.

There must be at least 4 or 5 lessons to be learned from your adventure. Please learn at least one of them.

Sam, you're lucky you bolted when you saw the chum knife. He sounded pretty determined!
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