Author Topic: The Tax Man , up close & personal  (Read 2264 times)

LONGCAST JOE

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The Tax Man , up close & personal
« on: December 25, 2017, 12:44:10 PM »
So, hereís the story...After the previous day I was determined to find out what had ďownedĒ us all like like we had never been owned before, time after time. I really didnít know if it was threshers, makos, hammerheads, giant soups, black tips gone astray or some exotic species that would be a total surprise, but I needed to know and was on a mission to do so today, as I knew the window that they were here could be very short or even over already.
So, me, FishJerk Ron & Surffishing Sean decided to meet up at the same location my ass got handed to me the day before, a couple of hours before the high tide (midday shark fishing? Huh??). They brought a half bucket full of fresh caught macks for us to use, something I didnít have the previous day.
Now the problem here was I knew I needed to beef up my rub leader from the measly 100lb mono but it was Christmas Eve day so shopping options for some were virtually non existent as the tackle shops that might carry something usable weíre closed. All I could think of was to pick up some weed wacker line at a Home Depot on the way and see if that could be incorporated into a rig. Well, when it got down to it, the stuff wouldnít knot and none of us had proper size sleeves to crimp it. Ron had some thick 135 mono, but it had heartbreak again written all over it. But I was looking at a coil of 275# coated 7x7 wire in my gear that I use as bite leader, and decided I needed to incorporate 10 or 12 feet of that into a rig so it can act as a rub leader as well but still be a castable rig, hmmm...so, I decided to put together a pulley rig using the wire as the main body of the rig as well as the to hook bite leader, which I had never heard of being done but that it was worth a try. So I double crimped a 13/0 circle hook on one end of a 10í length of wire, as I looked at it I realized I could do away with the usual wire to mono body swivel connection in the rig and just use a crimp on the wire instead to act as the pulley slide stopper a couple feet up from the hook.
So the rig ended up like this, 10í of 275# coated 7x7 wire with a 13/0 circle double crimped on one end with a small loop left for the bait clip to catch, them a crimp 2í from the hook just to act as a stopper, than a bead, then the pulley (Iíll put up pic of it) , then a hard bead, a soft bead, another hard bead, another soft bead, all sliding on the wire, then a 500# spro swivel double crimped to the other end of the 10í wire, then a giant snap connecting that swivel to a Gemini splash down bait clip, then another clip connecting a 7oz Sputnik to the bottom of the bait clip. Wasnít sure the wire would go though the pulley smoothly without kinking up but it was my best option at the moment.
Now, looking back,  I think the most crucial decision I made,  was to do away with my 40 lb mono top shot and connect directly into the pulley with my 80lb Powerpro Maxcuatro main line. All 500 yds of it 😉 that was spooled onto a brand new Shimano Big Bait Runner 14000. Yes, a spinner! Which I paired up with a new 14í Phenix Black Diamond SX-S1408-2 rated 3-10oz/ 30-80lb braid. All to rest in my infamous tripod as the holder.
So....we all though out fresh Mack, and within minutes two SUP guys started paddling close and around where our lines were in the water and Ron said ďthese guys are going to be a problemĒ.
I reeled my line back in, wound up to cast and yelled ďheads up!Ē, and let 8oz and bait fly, splashing down a few yards from the boarder...problem gone, they paddled a few hundred yards away from us shortly thereafter 😂
Now to the fishing...so we soaked, and soaked some more in the same spot as all yesterdayís action occurred with pretty much the same conditions as 24 hours ago, except maybe the sun poking through a bit more and the surf being up a hair. After a couple of hours without a bump and baits coming back untouched Ron jokingly says ďwell, where they at Joe? does Verne have any pics of this supposed action yesterday?Ē I chuckled and said yeah, I think he has video of Denny being bendod...
After a while longer of nothing I said ďIím thinking we should move north a 1/2 mile or so you guysĒ and Ron said ďIím thinking once I get my line reeled up Iím not going to feel like setting up and casting out again somewhere else and Sean said he had some commitments with family he should attend to, as it was Christmas Eve and getting to be towards evening. So we packed it up, sat in the parking lot and shot the sh!t about gear and such for a good while before Sean and Ron headed off and wished me luck if I was going to keep at it...
So I moved north about a half mile hoping my targets might have done the same overnight, set up on the sand again, with most of my hope dwindled away, on a now completely deserted beach. Now it was just me...
Armed with a slew of fresh Mack still, I cast, let sit for only 15 or so minutes each soak, and didnít hesitate to rebait with a fresh Mack each cast. At this point I was using smaller whole Mackís with just the tail cut off with some slices put up and down there sides and gills slit open to get the blood draining out.
Then I get a call from my girl asking when I was going to be home as it was Christmas Eve and we had family things we should be showing up at later. I said, Iím going to stay till sunset, I promise Ill leave right after the sun sets. Which left me about an hour or so more for something to happen. So I go and soak some more and watch the sun touch the horizon, reel up and decide to give it one last throw while the sun is disappearing. Then, not less then 2 minutes after I get my rod set in the holder and I start packing up some of my gear, while my back is turned I hear it! Two fast and hard Zzzzz....Zzzz...pause, slightly slack line, I grab my rod up from the holder, and then ZZzzzzzzzzzz. I count to 5 and then engage the drag on the baitrunner. The line draws tight as my rod goes be so and I know the circle hook has just set itself. A 50yd run or so as Iím judging what Iíve hooked into, then a pause and feels like I might have actually got it turned already, and Iím thinking, ok, Iíll settle for a soupie, wonít complain about one of those. Then, as to almost mock my thought, it takes off!! Holy crap! This ainít no soup!!All I can do is hold on, look down at my spool, and tighten down the drag a few more clicks close to max, before it kicks it into another higher gear leaving me feeling overmatched again. With a good hundred yards or so left it pauses, I feel a huge tail thump and pressure gone...damn! Iím gonna cry and curse as I quickly reel in my line. Wait! Damn, is he still there? Yes!! I keep reeling fast taking as it comes toward me, gaining back a couple hundred yards, before it changes direction and heads parallel to the shore northward a few hundred yards as I keep pressure on it walking with it. Fortunately Iím on a stretch of sand where there is nothing but sand and no structure to worry about. It stops its northward trek,and takes a break before it turns around and starts heading back south. At this point it is still going wherever it wants to go and I donít have much control over which way that is. At this point my arms and back are giving out against how tight I need the drag to be set at so I drop down on my ass and dig the butt of the rod into the sand and dig some foot holds into the sand for a makeshift fighting chair and just hold on to the upper rod grip with two hands and try to keep the rod upright against the constant pressure. Even when it isnít running I have a constant amount of huge pressure against it and it doesnt bring it towards me at all. When it decides to make now shortened runs I donít have the strength to keep the rod upright anymore and am having to dip the rod tip and almost point it straight and am actually worried about  being able to grip the rod enough to keep it from being pulled out of my hands! At this point now Iím literally feeling like I might pass out from exhastion, sweating up a storm, but canít take a break. Iím thinking about throwing in the towel, and saying OK, you win, when it turns and starts to come towards me again finally. I gain most of my line back, it stops, and I know I have it close and at least into the breakers as when a wave rolls in the pressure a have against it also eases and I can now gain some line every time a wave rolls by. As it comes into the skinny I see a massive something start to show in now total darkness and I walk down towards it keeping pressure on and get calf deep in the suds closer to it and
 and the first thing my eyes are drawn to are a blacker than black huge eye, then the jaws and teeth. Holy crap! Itís a great white, and itís not one of these 5 foot juvies Iíve heard! Ok, into instant release mode...Oh, sh!t, I donít have any cutters on me and no way to pull the hook or break off 275#wire or 80# braid, so I instantly put my reel in freespool and run back to my tripod holding it to get a pair of pliers with cutters, and am thinkinking on the way, oh sh!t, I donít have a tape either. So I leave my rod in the holder, grab pliers, phone for cam and my light rod to use as an,ala pinoyfisher quick measuring device. I run back down to her maybe 100 feet away, throw the rod down next to her with the butt lined up at her nose, point my phone towards her and just start hitting the picture take button repeatedly with the same hand as I have the pliers in while trying to get the wire cut simultaneously. The damn cutters wonít cut through the wire and Iím not about to go close to that jaw and teeth to try to get a hold of the circle hook to gank out so I decide to just grip the wire about 3 feet from the hook with the pliers and give it a hard yank. This did fortunately break the wire and I put everything in my hands into my chest waders pocket, waited for the next wave to come in and tried to tail drag her back out to deeper water. Wonít budge! Need a bigger wave which came quickly in the next set. Took all my might to get her into knee deep water where I turned her around, straddled her towards the backend and kept her upright while the waves washed back and forth over her for a few minutes. Then she gave a strong quadruple tail slap to my inner thighs which knocked me off and lose grip of her dorsal and then she gave two more slaps and swam off out through the waves, dorsal and tail fins showing till she was out beyond the breakers where she gave one last tail slap and splash on the water before she disappeared into the darkness. I stayed around for another good 30 minutes spot lighting up and down the skinny to make sure she wasnít going to come or wash back in. I was completely exhausted with the left overs of a huge surge of adrenaline as the only thing keeping me conscience at this point. WOW! What a rush!
As far as the measurement I still have to put a tape to the mark on the rod where her tail came to on it, that it shows in a pic but I really donít care if itís going to be good as far as the contest goes or not, thatís just small potatoes in my mind right now compared to landing this beast of dreams. It would be close Mike, but my guess is it might be short of yours a few inches anyways.
Iím still high off the rush from this catch! (And sore!!!!)
Itís  a night Iíll never forget!
( Chad is going to put some pics up in a reply for me  as Iím not in the frame of mind to have the patience to figure out how to do it in the post right now; so sit tight)

Jack Murtagh

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Re: The Tax Man , up close & personal
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2017, 01:39:16 PM »
Good job man! Hell of a fish to land solo

xjchad

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Re: The Tax Man , up close & personal
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2017, 02:06:24 PM »
I'm speechless Joe! Just amazing!!

















sasquatch

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Re: The Tax Man , up close & personal
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2017, 02:26:13 PM »
Amazing. Congrats.

Glitchmo

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Re: The Tax Man , up close & personal
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2017, 02:32:11 PM »
Gonna tag back in here briefly to say that this whole thing is badass. Congrats!!

EdgarP9

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Re: The Tax Man , up close & personal
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2017, 02:33:59 PM »
Congrats Joe! , BADASS mode ! Milestone achievement right there! The beast of all beasts !

LONGCAST JOE

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Re: The Tax Man , up close & personal
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2017, 02:46:09 PM »
Awesome Joe, just awesome. Epic fish. I know you're still smiling from ear to ear ;D

For those of you thinking you want some of this, please, please, please, remember that shark fishing really is a team sport and use the buddy system. Just trust me on this, they come in bigger models and you do not want to be dealing with one of these by yourself, especially at night. There's just too much that can go wrong, especially when you're exhausted with so much adrenaline racing through your veins.

Have a tail rope. Have bolt cutters. Have a 36" dehooker. It's not only for your protection, but the animal's as well.

I also highly recommend a full fighting harness. At the very least you're going to want a fighting belt. Check your ego and remember that it's in the best interest of the fish to end the fight as quickly as possible. Don't try to be superman if you hook into a bigger model, pass the rod off to your buddy so he can keep maximum pressure on the fish and get some too. Some of these monsters will battle for 3-4 hours, so pace yourself and work as a team.

A final word on measurement. Use your head. It's not worth risking serious injury or the health of the fish just to win a prize or a contest. Getting stuck by a ray hurts, but you'll survive. But mess up with one of these, and you run the risk of missing digits or worse. A small bite in the wrong place and you could bleed out or lose consciousness in a matter of minutes. Their tails are also more powerful than anything you've dealt with before. They can knock a grown ass man off his feet with one little flick, so don't take anything for granted. If conditions aren't perfect, just take a pic, release the fish and enjoy the catch of a lifetime 8)

Iíll second all that, I would not want to do this again solo, no way

1morecast

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Re: The Tax Man , up close & personal
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2017, 03:06:31 PM »
Thanks for the details of the write up Joe. When you get a chance send Chad a pic of the rig set up you used. I would love to hear how much wear and tear the shark did to the rig and your reel. It's amazing you were able to land that fish solo. How long do you think the whole event took place from hook up to landing? Congrats again! Mike you might still have a chance.  ;)
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lightline21

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Re: The Tax Man , up close & personal
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2017, 03:09:50 PM »
Longcast Joe, I'll say it again, you da man!

Dark_Knight_9C1

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Re: The Tax Man , up close & personal
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2017, 03:28:51 PM »
What a Christmas present. You must've been good this year!
But seriously, totally awesome job! Totally awesome fish!

-Keith

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Re: The Tax Man , up close & personal
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2017, 04:10:38 PM »
Hell yeah Joe, that is kick azz!! Iíd gladly take a legit GWS over a rod any day! I have plenty of rods, no GWS. The detailed write up is great too!!
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LONGCAST JOE

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Re: The Tax Man , up close & personal
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2017, 04:35:28 PM »
Thanks for the details of the write up Joe. When you get a chance send Chad a pic of the rig set up you used. I would love to hear how much wear and tear the shark did to the rig and your reel. It's amazing you were able to land that fish solo. How long do you think the whole event took place from hook up to landing? Congrats again! Mike you might still have a chance.  ;)
I was guesstimating before it was about a 45 minute battle but I wasnít clock watching at anytime but you got me thinking...I know it hit just as the sun was dipping below the horizon, and the almanac says sunset was at 4:50 yesterday and the photos have a time stamp in my phone of 6:10...so there you go, longer than my estimate. Looks like it was an hour and 20 minute ordeal, give or take a couple of minutes....
As far as how the rig held up I canít know much for sure as the hook and about 6 inches of wire are still in the sharks mouth and the rest of it I must have just cut off and left behind on the beach because I just looked and canít find it anywhere. I do remember running my fingers up and down some portion of the wire and being amazed it didnít feel more chaffed up but Iím not sure what exact section I was feeling. I can tell you when I yanked on the wire to either pull the hook or pop the wire it broke about 6 inches from the eye of the circle hook which is where the sharks face is all chaffed up coming out the corner of his mouth, if you take a look at the pics, see all that pink coming from the corner of the mouth? That all chaffing for the coated wire leader Iím assuming...Iíll send Chad a diagram of the rig when I get the chance. But that thing in the first pic is the style pulley used in the rig and the part Iím amazed didnít fail under pressure. That small silver eyelet is where my braid main line tied straight onto and I ran the wire through the hole in the blue portion. How that eyelet is secured into the blue plastic donut part when manufactured , Iím not sure but thank god it held.

Jaws

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Re: The Tax Man , up close & personal
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2017, 05:14:00 PM »
Awesome catch! Congratulations and tons of hard work well repaid!!
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vdisney

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Re: The Tax Man , up close & personal
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2017, 06:46:19 PM »
Hell yeah Joe, you more than earned this one.  Can't tell you how happy I am for two reasons.  First, because Chu Da Man brother.  Secondly, now I know what broke us off 26 times in three sessions.  I was starting to think "WE ALL JUST SUCK AT FISHING"........................ 8)
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Socal Bill

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Re: The Tax Man , up close & personal
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2017, 07:07:09 PM »
Awesome catch and report! Congrats!