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The Shark Bite is on!

Report Date: April 14, 2003

The latest cold front down here in Keywest may have cooled off the Tarpon bite, however the Shark bite is on!

Tami's first Black Tip Shark caught on her Birthday.

Fly-fishing for Tarpon is not the only game in town when it comes to fishing in Keywest. There are plenty of other options if the Tarpon will not cooperate, my customer had soon learned.

After a great many spots looking for Tarpon we had finally found a few schools.
Having numerous good casts into these Tarpon, we never got a bite? Just a few dirty looks and a tired arm from casting, we gave up on the Tarpon. They are just not eating well for us this morning, I mentioned to my customer. After a brief discussion of our options we decided to play the tide and head for the flats.

Bright blue sky and zero clouds would help give us terrific visibility of the fish on the flats. After several minutes of poling we encountered a shark swimming along with its dorsal fin just piercing the surface of the water. This first shark was a Lemon Shark of average size (75-90lb), just cruising the flat in hopes of a snack. ?Lets pass on that fish,? and see what else is up ahead of us on this large expansive flat. Permit being the Target and not yet rigged for Shark on the fly rod, passing on the shot was the only option. After several more yards of poling we saw a few more Sharks and a couple of Barracudas. However never a Permit or a Bonefish. Calling no joy, we opted to change up and put a fly on for Shark

The Shark on a fly rod can be quite a thrill and a bit of a challenge to lure them into eating. The standard artificial bait technique for Shark is a matter of pin point casting, Since there is no smell to a Shark fly or artificial bait one must put the cast just in front of the Shark?s nose. With the sun now at high noon our visibility great, I pulled toward a white sand hole. There lying in the sand hole seemed to be six or seven Shark, ranging from 4 feet to 8 feet in length. This was the type of shot at a shark we wanted. Laying motionless in a sand hole the shark will pounce on any fish that swims in front of it nose, as a matter of instinct.

Now set up with my favorite Shark fly of witch I tied myself with a six inch piece of wire leader we were ready for a shot at ?Jaws?. Lay the fly out at 25ft just in front of the Shark on the left edge of the sand, and let it settle down in front of his nose. On the second cast this was accomplished. Now pull three inches of line in rapidly and then again, as he did I noticed the tail of the Shark move. Once more, now pulling the fly past the Shark and let the fly sit again and we?ll see if he takes it. Instantly the Black tip Shark came alive and lunged toward the fly and engulfed the fly. Set the hook and hang on!!!!!!!

The Black tip Shark when hooked will jump and has a very explosive first run. Now streaking out about 180 yard of line the fish slowed down and the fight was on. A tug of war match that might last 45 minutes with the odd in favor of the Shark as he might have weighed in at about 150lbs. After managing to capture 100yds of line back, the Shark ran again. This time he came out of the water and barrel rolled about six feet in the air, crashed in to the water again a streaked off?.

That it my customer yelled to me?. ?He?s gone!?

Well, you win some and you loose some, that why it called fishing.

Lenny, you never told me these Black tip Sharks jump, my client mentioned as we sat in awe of what we had just witnessed.

Like I said this morning, ?Tarpon is not the only game in town.?

Keep in mind if the spring time Tarpon actions is a bit slow due to bad weather here in Keywest, there are plenty of other monsters (shark) and other species around to provide you with plenty of action for your day on the water.

Give me a call; lets go pick on some fish!

Capt. Lenny

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