Monday, August 5, 2013

Sharks, sharks and More Sharks

Left the campsite at 4:45am and headed to the town of Oyster to launch the jon boat.




 Found a local gas station with great breakfast sandwiches to fill our belly on the way. We were the first ones at the ramp, got the boat in the water and began to throw the cast net for some bait. first throw got a net FULL of finger mullet so off we went to a spot we had picked on the map.

 




We drove for about 15 minutes winding through the beautiful seaside inlets and marsh guts paying close attention to channel markers. Lots of resident canada geese were just starting to wake up and fly into their morning feeding spots along with herons, ducks, gulls, egrets, and all kinds of other waterfowl. Quite the sight at sunrise.

After getting anchored up, we dropped over our first 5lb block of frozen menhaden chum and waited for the sharks to smell the rotten ground up goodness we had deployed. It did not take long and in the first 5 minutes we had started getting some bites it was game on.



  From that moment and for the next 3 hours between me and Will we did not have a spare minute to sit down and relax.Will was catching croaker 2 at a time as fast as he could reel. He would hand me one, i would put the whole live fish on the hook, throw it out, just in time to have one OR TWO of the other 3 rods start screaming. we did this dance the whole time. At many times we were doubled up both with a fish on. I finally hooked something very large and was hoping this was the shark we came to catch. we untied the anchor and threw it over with a bouy on it and went for a Eastern shore sleigh ride be towed by whatever my hook was in. After about 15 minutes i get it up to the surface and to my suprise it is a stingray that was easily 100 lbs and the size of a full size truck hood. The tail was about 5 ft long and the size of my fore arm. We got it close to the boat after another 30 miuntes and cut the leader as close as possible to avoid traumatizing the ray further. We ended up with 77 sharks between 24 and 52 inches in around 3 hours. The variety included juvinile bulls, black tips, sandbars, and dogfish. We made the collective decision it was time to give them/us a restand headed back in, by this time at low tide. To my surprise some of the open bays of water from the morning high tide, were completely out of the water and there were oyster bars all over the place. Below picture is what the scenery looked like as far as the eye could see in every direction.
 


 Talk about a prop wrecker. Luckily I know better than to stray from the channels out there or we might have been camping there instead. With sore arms we returned to camp, cooked some ribeyes and both passed out by 9:30pm from the long day. Awesome day out for our first fishing mission on the seaside of the Eastern Shore.