Shark Week

Today is the start of the bear hunt. I’ve been ambivalent about it and don’t think it will do much good since the bears are a problem in areas where hunting will not be allowed. The ambivalence changed this morning when I went up to get the paper and found the trash can knocked over and the contains scattered. Double the hunt. Update – bear hunt over. They got close to the quota in 2 days so the 2 week hunt was stopped.

From the beach. Got here Saturday afternoon and was fishing by about 4PM when the tide was close to high. The water was rough with a strong long shore current so fishing was not optimal. It did look like typical bluefish water so I rigged with a steel leader, 6/0 hook, and a special rough surf holding sinker, 5 oz. I was using whole, frozen finger mullets for bait. There was more seaweed than normal but not terrible. Just before dark I hooked something really large and it broke the line. Actually the line had gotten tangled earlier and I had to cut and retie it with not enough light. I think I messed up the knot.

Sunday was a repeat with maybe a little better surf conditions. I started about 5PM and within 10 minutes or so hooked another large fish. This time I got a couple of jumps from the fish and recognized it as a large tarpon – no way I expected that. It looked bigger than 100lbs and I knew that there was little chance of landing anything that big in this surf. He was on for about 10 minutes before the line snapped. Re rigged and went at it again. Not too long before another monster strike. This guy pulled all the line off my reel, down to heavy backing line. I suspect I have 100 yards of 40# power pro line and my drag is set heavy so it’s almost unbelievable to see the whole spool evaporate off the reel. Just before it got to the backing, he turned north, alongshore, and I was able to run in that direction and regain line on the reel. He literally pulled me about 1/2 mile then turned and headed south. I was really tired, tired, tired by then but he was slowing down. We got about halfway back to the house when I finally got him close enough to the shore to see what I was dealing with – a large shark. Looked 6-7’ long and really heavy. My hope was that the waves would help me beach it but the undertow was stronger than the onshore push and the fish was simply too heavy to get him out of the rough water. Another guy saw me in distress and came down to help but there just wasn’t an opportunity for either of us to grab the fish by the tail – probably just as well. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but I was fairly well worn out at this point and fairly confident that he was going to beach himself. Luckily, the line broke. I suspect he just eventually sawed thru it. Tomorrow, I’m switching to shrimp and try to catch smaller fish for a couple of hours.

Nancy’s eyes have improved enough that she’s now back quilting. Not really intricate stuff but certainly real quilting. She’s also able to read the computer screen again, most of her quilting magazines and the trailers on the TV screen. So we’re encouraged that she’ll get back to where she was a month ago soon. She gets another exam and shot the end of this week so we’ll have a more definitive assessment of her progress.

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