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Bite finally heating up but let’s talk shark problem

Y’all this state has a shark problem and everyone knows it. Two years ago I almost got my hand taken off trying to release a bull red the right way. Now it’s 50/50 if you can even get the gamefish in and we are talking inshore fishing here….
Caught this 37 inch snook , released it And I saw commotion 40 yards off the boat later. I didn’t even want to know what it was it was just a sinking feeling. Next day hook a giant Cobia get it to the boat and a big 10 foot shark comes up and inhales it. I’ve heard stories elsewhere this has gone on long enough will something ever get done about it ? 
They need to bring back gill nets those things not only manicured the gulf bottom “think redtide and all that other nonsense” but also kept the populations of predators in check. I know the Public has a huge outcry whenever they see a porpoise trapped in a drag net but guess what I pull up on a outside point not that used to be loaded with snook and redfish and now all I see is dolphins rolling. Everywhere like dozens and dozens that’s too many flippers.
 This has gotten ridiculous it’s ruining the fishing and then you actually hook a Nice fish and it either gets eaten on the retrieve or release . There’s too many sharks , more fishermen need to speak out about the issue it’s way more pressing than any of that water quality nonsense “which I think also has to do with over development and maybe a little bit of unkept nearshore bottoms “ than any of the stuff they blame it on

Replies

  • snookaffinitysnookaffinity Naples, FLPosts: 1,285 Officer
    edited May 31 #2
    My wife was reeling in a small jack a couple of weeks ago and I saw a lemon shark about 4 ft long heading straight toward the jack. She jerked it into the boat just before the shark got it. I agree, I am seeing more sharks inshore. This is a snook she almost got to the boat.


    "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 401 Deckhand
    Flamingo the same. There are places you cant get a fish to the boat. I've taken to leaving skiff home and fishing in 12" or less for reds in my jon boat and dont have any problem but as soon as there is enough water for a 4' shark they are all over you. I've been fishing there 55 years, it's not that there are more sharks now , they just have learned to associate boats with easy meal. 10 times the boat traffic and less food around for sharks. 
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,672 Captain
    All summer long, inshore, sharks are just part of the deal... I tell my anglers that we can get one good fish off of a spot -if the angler really bares down on the fish -and just horses the fish in any way they can... Take your time fighting a fish inshore and it's a miracle if uncle toothy doesn't shred it... As you can guess, we move around a lot.

    Here's what I think is going on... A shark can't catch a health fish (unless it's suicidal and allows a shark to get close...) but along the coast everything is in close proximity -the game fish have sharks close by always, so the moment you hook one death is only feet away - and coming to the struggle to get fed....  As already noted these days, with our greatly increased population and the great advances in boats, nav gear, etc..  fish encounter anglers much more often than fifty years ago when I was first venturing into the backcountry...  As a result sharks have a lot more angler related feeding opportunities - and they take full advantage of them.. By the way, a trout, snook or other fairly thin skinned fish goes down with a single bite.... A redfish on the other hand, might survive that first bite - but the second - it's curtains....

    Here's how we try to have a hooked fish survive a shark... Our first tactic is simply to stop pulling and open the bail on a spinner - or go into free spool with a plug or conventional reel.  Usually the hooked fish can outrun trouble if allowed to swim free... Then after a bit re-engage and maybe, just maybe land that fish.  Up on the flats in skinny waters catching bonefish we used to stomp on the deck to spook the shark - and on more than one occasion I've poked one with my pushpole to discourage it.  Sometimes it actually works if you're lucky - but allowing the fish to run free is always our first tactic.  Lastly with a big fish like a tarpon we simply break it off if the man in the brown suit shows up.  It's heart breaking to realize that your tarpon or cobia has had it's tail bitten by a shark since once that first bite happens - the shark owns the fish... When releasing a big fish we also try to tow it away from where it was hooked, slowly so the fish can breathe and revive a bit - then when it swims away at least it has a chance...

    By the way I started out as a mate on charterboats in Miami Beach (way back in 1973) and in those days we killed every shark we encountered for the taxidermist (we used a 12ga. bangstick from Pompanette...).  I would never want to see us return to those days, period.  It's not hard at all to reduce a shark population to nearly zero since they don't reproduce very quickly at all... Sharks aren't the only things that attack a hooked fish.. These days we have more than a few fish eaten by the tremendous population of goliath grouper in the backcountry (jewfish for all you old timers...).  We're literally over-run by them.... 
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 1,072 Officer
    It seems that everytime we try to adjust the balance of nature , nature has to remind us who is boss. This is sorta like hawks at the bird feeder everybody gets to eat
  • thecawthecaw Posts: 39 Deckhand
    Lostconch said:
    It seems that everytime we try to adjust the balance of nature , nature has to remind us who is boss. This is sorta like hawks at the bird feeder everybody gets to eat
    Right bring back the inshore gill nets. Young fish naturally skilled through anyways it really was only the predators who got caught and they need to be thinned out. Also they served as rakes for our inshore sea bottoms. Ppl are over sensitive they see flipper in a net they go nuts without realizing those **** things are out it control on the flats . 
    The commercial nets kept everything in. Balance  
  • 10kman10kman Posts: 903 Officer
      Bring back gill nets,will never happen because Fla.
    voters in 1992 voted to ban nets.Want to overturn that
    vote,Go for it!
  • tarponhuntertarponhunter Posts: 487 Deckhand
    thecaw said:
    Lostconch said:
    It seems that everytime we try to adjust the balance of nature , nature has to remind us who is boss. This is sorta like hawks at the bird feeder everybody gets to eat
    Right bring back the inshore gill nets. Young fish naturally skilled through anyways it really was only the predators who got caught and they need to be thinned out. Also they served as rakes for our inshore sea bottoms. Ppl are over sensitive they see flipper in a net they go nuts without realizing those **** things are out it control on the flats . 
    The commercial nets kept everything in. Balance  
    Do you actually believe this?? Both about the nets "grooming" the bottom and keeping things in balance. If you do, you've either been very mislead or are trolling...

    I think captain LeMay brings up a great point about the increased fishing pressure now leading to more opportunities for these sharks to learn. Especially for the big girls that have grown up since the net ban and had decades to learn which wrecks and spots boats frequent.

    I also think its a great point that the overall decrease in fish populations has led to more targeting of hooked fish. Sharks naturally are reef cleaners, going after the sick and injured mostly. When theres not a lot of those around the next good target becomes hooked or speared fish.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,672 Captain
    Worked a booking out of Chokoloskee today and we caught and released 20 to 30 small snook on lures, our biggest nearly 29 inches… Sharks everywhere we went but we never lost a single fish to one… 
    I had my anglers well prepared to get right on top of every fish we caught and we quickly released each one so they had a fighting chance after we turned them loose…
    That’s what we’ll be doing-all summer long…
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 1,637 Captain
    Sharks are out of control in the backcountry and on the reef and wrecks I fish. Back in the day we had a solution for the problem, and there were still plenty of sharks around. 
  • thecawthecaw Posts: 39 Deckhand
    Worked a booking out of Chokoloskee today and we caught and released 20 to 30 small snook on lures, our biggest nearly 29 inches… Sharks everywhere we went but we never lost a single fish to one… 
    I had my anglers well prepared to get right on top of every fish we caught and we quickly released each one so they had a fighting chance after we turned them loose…
    That’s what we’ll be doing-all summer long…
    No offense but there’s a difference between a 30 inch snook and a big Cobia /permit . The snook u can get in it’s just releasing them after but a 40 pound fish they don’t just come in until they are worn out. These sharks are a pest something needs to be done about them
  • BobberreduxBobberredux Posts: 53 Deckhand
    Something Must Be Done!
    How bout a 30 year ban on fishing in the park to allow the current shark population to die off and hope the next generation forgets about scavenging your catch?
    Or maybe Florida could institute a shark bounty modeled after the python bounty?
    Or most efficient of all,invite Chinese long liners into state waters, they'll clear those pesky sharks out in no time!
    Something Must be done!
  • nobleonenobleone Posts: 104 Deckhand
    I definitely see more sharks around.  I was out Monday and as soon as there was enough water on the flats, 3 or 4 sharks showed up where there used to be only the occasional 2-3 footer, these guys were 4-5 feet long.

    Best way to clear them out is to create a market for them.  I see dozens of commercials a day about "the hunger problem", children are starving!  Remember decades ago when redfish were considered bottom feeders and no one would eat them?  Enter Paul Prudomme (spelling) and blackened redfish, and today everyone eats them, even though you can't get them at the market or restaurant anymore.

    Or something like that.... 

    "If it's not one thing, it's an alternator"

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