Author Topic: Great white part 1  (Read 1795 times)

Chris

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Great white part 1
« on: May 18, 2017, 11:18:30 AM »
I’ve been contemplating about sharing this story. I’ve started and erased it several times now trying to recall the events as accurately as possible without giving up these fish secrets to the world. Looking back most of it is a blur due to sleep deprivation and the rush of adrenaline. The safe handling and release of these animals in such a timely manner was a direct result of muscle memory and 1,000’s of combined hours on the sand between us handling big fish. There was no room for error or complacency and I have to give credit and nothing but respect and gratitude to Travis for his quick thinking, perseverance and  courage during a time when we were really caught off guard and had to change our approach to this situation within seconds of realizing what was going on.
 
Two weeks ago I got a message from Travis that he wanted to come out to catch and tag some pacific sharks. There was no better time than now to get on the water, we’ve been seeing big 7 gills, some leopards, decent amounts of soup fin sharks, threshers were hitting the local orange county piers and the south bay was loaded with baby white sharks. We came up with a plan and decided to go full land based style. Landing sharks off the pier and tagging them wasn’t really an option. Southern California piers are built a little different than most piers across the nation and there weren’t any piers available south of the border. We have life guard towers, souvenir shops and restaurants that take up rail space on our piers and make it impossible to beach any large fish for a clean release. Our plan was to kayak baits out and target 7gills near reefs and then transition to using specialty rigs in a pre-determined location for thresher sharks. Landing a Thresher from shore has been high on my list for a while and Travis was more than excited to give it a shot. While soaking larger baits on stand up gear we also had surf rods that we could cast for leopards and soup fin sharks.

The first night was hell. Travis got delayed at LAX due to plane problems. He was just taking a jumper 40 mins away to meet up. I decided to head out ahead of him and check the spots we looked at on google earth. I Soaked some mackerel on my surf rod and around sunset was rewarded with a bat ray somewhere around 50” across. I quickly snapped a pic and let her go. Travis finally showed up and we had lines in the water by midnight. I was using a small piece of ray I had acquired earlier in the month and he was using some fin bait. Each about 1lb or so. Just enough bait that we could let it soak for a couple hours and hopefully entice the 7gills.  About 40 mins go by and my rod gets picked up and the clicker starts screaming! I get it out of the holder and lay into this fish. It peels drag and makes a good 100 yard run. We get nervous because there are exposed rocks in the opposite direction its going and a known reef it’s headed for. It wouldn’t matter though because after a minute of watching line peel off the fish came off. We thought it turned and charged the beach so I reeled in as fast as I could until my leader and bait less hook was on the sand. The coated wire was shredded 5ft up from the hook with no other signs of teeth on the leader or hook. We assume it swallowed the bait and it just pulled out with the circle hook never getting a good set.

   Our Kayak was small. It’s an 8ft Walmart special I had convinced a local to let me borrow. I took it for a trial run and at 6’7” and 250lbs I quickly learned it was not for me. I sank that yak and took several waves to the face trying to paddle a measly 50 yards. Travis faired a little better on it however and he was willing to yak our baits at least once. After I lost that first fish I wanted to get another bait out right away. Travis was a little sketched out by the idea of paddling a submarine through waters that clearly had big sharks so we decided to let his bait soak a little longer and see what happens. After 20-30 minutes of staring at his rod tip and wondering what just happened we decided it was time to check his fin bait and run new baits. Much to our surprise his bait came in untouched by crabs or fish.

 We got 2 new baits rigged up and Travis decided it was time to brave the unknown. We stood on the sand staring out into the darkness for about 10 minutes before any of us said anything. I’m sure we were both thinking the same thing and just as I was about to take one for the team and say “I’ll do it” he chimed in with “well let’s do this” and grabbed the paddle. I was not upset about his decision the least bit because personally, I don’t like submarines.

Travis took both baits out at once. He dropped his first and veered left to drop mine. I tightened up his line a bit and set the clicker than went to my rod. I could tell his had a bow and it was working itself out so I’d take care of that in a second. He dropped my bait and I gave the reel a couple turns to make sure the leader went in straight then set the clicker and light drag. I stepped off to fix his line and heard a click. I looked up and the line was tight and thought I may have jumped the gun and he was still paddling. I looked out to make sure and could see him turning around and starting to head back when my reel starts screaming! I got on the rod and the fish was on. He made it in and I told him to fix his rod before doing anything, he did then came to my aid. The fish felt small. It was taking light drag and I could feel tail slaps but it wasn’t acting like a big fish. I even told him “it’s small”. Thinking it was a soup fin or 7 gill I handed off the rod to put my harness on so I could slowly winch it in, that way it wouldn’t be 100% green when it hit the beach and we could tag and release it.  Just as I’m handing off the rod the fish wakes up and starts burning drag. I get the harness on and really lay the heat on this fish. We had her to shore in about 25 mins from hookup and Travis was on the leader. He yells out “it’s a white!!! Its OVER 8FT!!”  He rushes up and grabs the bolt cutters, tail rope, puts my phone in his breast pocket with the camera ready to roll and heads back down. Once he had her in the wash I put the rod back in the holder and rushed down. By the time I got there he had the tail rope on and I jumped on it with him and we got her out of the rolling wash and into manageable water. Travis started recording and I went to work. I had to brace myself against incoming waves and when the water would start to recede Travis would yell out “smile bro!” knowing we were getting good shots. I came up behind her, straddled her and lifted her jaw open. The hook was set perfectly in the corner of the mouth. I gave it a twist and a hard bump from behind and it popped out. “Hooks out!” I yelled. I stepped back to get the tail rope and got hit by a wave and slipped. Instead of allowing myself to get washed up I hugged her tail and kept her from getting rolled up the beach as well. The wave receded and Travis was in position and said “look at me!” I looked at him and looked right into the camera, grabbed her tail and smiled. Travis warned me of the next wave and as soon as it came in I grabbed the rope and leaned back. She floated up on the top of the water and started to move backwards. I stepped back and she came with me. The wave receded and pushed us both into about 4ft of water where somehow the tail rope came off and she spun around 180 degrees to where I was able to push her into deeper water. I didn’t have to push her much because she kicked and all 10ft of her swam off like a champ.

When I got back on the sand Travis was ecstatic! We hugged it out, couldn’t stop smiling and somehow, Travis had the tail rope in his hands. Like I said, some of it is a blur.


Pictures are showing as links for some reason. stand by for part 2!






« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 11:38:07 PM by Chris »
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xjchad

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Re: Great white part 1
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 12:57:29 PM »
So stoked for you Chris!  Awesome catch and great release!
Crazy that that white was swimming around right under Travis!  :o
Looking forward to part 2!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 02:52:58 PM by xjchad »
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1morecast

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Re: Great white part 1
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 12:59:12 PM »
Wow, great recap! An elite club you just joined there.
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Pinoyfisher

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Re: Great white part 1
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 01:03:17 PM »
This post is pretty damn riveting!! Stoked!
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EdgarP9

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Re: Great white part 1
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 01:58:30 PM »
Wow !!! Congrats ! Epic status right there !

Chris

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Re: Great white part 1
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 03:04:47 PM »
So stoked for you Chris!  Awesome catch and great release!
Crazy that that white was swimming around right under Travis!  :o
Looking forward to part 2!

It was following him for sure. No way he just happened to drop it on her. Or maybe he did? I'll put money on it that she was following him though.
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Fish Jerk

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Re: Great white part 1
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2017, 03:15:39 PM »
"We're gonna need a bigger boat."

Epic story so far, definately waiting for part 2.

sasquatch

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Re: Great white part 1
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2017, 03:42:25 PM »
Has to be pretty gnarly being in the water next to something that big.

SevengillTheVC

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Re: Great white part 1
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2017, 07:44:30 PM »
EPIC!!!!

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Re: Great white part 1
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2017, 05:44:04 AM »
That was a great read Chris!  Wow... I get a little nervous trying to land a big Sevengill, but it must have been gnarly next to the White instead!  Great descriptions and I can totally see things being a blur!

Bravo Boss!  Excellent work and I'm looking forward to the second installment!
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vdisney

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Re: Great white part 1
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2017, 05:56:30 AM »
I'm speechless, absolutely awesome!!
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Tim524

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Re: Great white part 1
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2017, 07:46:49 AM »
 Awesome report, not many can say they have caught a GW from the shore, CONGRATS !!! 8)

LONGCAST JOE

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Re: Great white part 1
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2017, 09:09:55 AM »
SO GREAT!! It's an elite few that have put in the 1000s and 1000s of hours it takes to obtain the knowhow needed to get this done. Congrats on the culmination, much respect...
JOE 

Eric H

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Re: Great white part 1
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2017, 11:29:32 AM »
You forgot the open mouth shot

Chris

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Re: Great white part 1
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2017, 11:52:55 AM »
You forgot the open mouth shot

It was all blurry. He did get it from that angle but it didn't come out.
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