Rare Gulf of Mexico Catch !!

I’ve been fishing in the Gulf of Mexico for a long time and I have never even heard of one of these being caught, much less on my boat. With the wind honkin at 20 knots out of the north east, fishing options were limited. I have a little spot in the Gulf in Englewood that usually holds decent flounder and mangs this time of year and at only 25 ft deep, it was the perfect choice for a windy day.

We loaded the live well with 5 dozen shrimp, plenty of chum and cut bait and anchored up. We bagged several very fat flounder, a couple decent mangs, a few nice sheepies and a couple reef sharks in just a couple hours.

At about 12:30, the wind shifted more out of the east/southeast, causing me to re-anchor and reposition the boat. Soon after we get set back up, my fishing buddy Ekim yells out, “what the *&^ is that behind the boat?” I look just under the motors and I see a very large shape that looks like a shark. The coloring on it is really weird because I initially took the shark to be a Mako. Having caught a few of them and one over 400 lbs in the Gulf this past spring, I can’t forget that color.

For whatever reason today, I thought it would be fun to mess around with some Goliath grouper. I had brought along a 50 wide Shimano with a 280 lb wind-on and several 12/0 circle hooks. A wise man once told me that success is the sum total of preparation meeting opportunity. Today, it came together.

We throw on a large chunk bait and drop it straight down where I last saw the blue missile. Within 10 seconds, I feel the pick up and start feeding it. After a few seconds, I slowly engage the reel and the big rod doubles over. At first, the shark did not run, and it hovered about 4 feet down along side my boat. I got a closer look at the cobalt blue back and I was certain we hooked into a big Mako. I was kind of concerned because the shark was very close to the boat and I don’t think he realized there was a problem yet. The last thing I wanted was a pissed off Mako jumping into the boat.

Well, the fight goes on as reasonably expected, especially when the shark takes me around two crab floats. For whatever reason, it reverses course and swims in the opposite direction. Lucky again ! After 20 minutes or so, we get it up to the boat to get a better look at the absolutely beautiful blue back. It really stood out in the very green water. We are confident we have a Mako at this point until it gets close enough to see the pec fins. Big and wide. A Blue Shark !! Never caught one in the Gulf. Extremely beautiful creature.

We took a few pics and some video and then cut the fish free. It was every bit of 8 ft long. Caught in 25 ft of very Green water off Englewood. You just NEVER know ! I hope the video comes out here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZwD9aV2gJ0

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