Do sharks get indigestion?

My sister-in-law’s first ocean catch; a 6″ Jack Smelt

If so, the one that ate my hook, line, and 4-ounce sinker must have a whale (pun intended) of an upset stomach right now. 

My sister-in-law of 40 years, Barbara, has been visiting us for the past week and today was the day I told her that I would take her fishing with me.  She has lived most of her life in Phoenix, AZ and had never fished in the ocean before.  On the way to the pier I told her that you never know what to expect to catch when you toss your line into the Pacific, there are so many species of fish our their you could catch anything.  Well, we were on the pier for about 45 minutes when a shark hit my ocean bottom line.  I knew it was a shark because of the screaming sound of my drag as line shot out of my reel.  It was steady screech unlike the rhythmic one you hear when a ray is on your line or the short tugs of most any other fish.  As soon as I heard the noise,  I immediately knew that I was in trouble and that I needed to act fast.  

I almost didn’t take my Shakespeare ATS350 reel / Shimano Saguaro rod outfit with me today because of the lack of line on my reel; I knew I didn’t have enough on the spool to let a big fish run.  I haven’t been able to find the Tuf Line Dacron 80-pound test line that I want in my town and the spool I ordered from Amazon is taking a ridiculously long time to get here (10 days and counting).  So, I had to grab my pole before my line hit bottom and the fish pulled it into the ocean.  At that point, all I could do was tug on it and hope it would turn.  It didn’t and when I reeled in, there was nothing but part of my rigging left.  Oddly enough, the fish ate my 4-ounce sinker and my hook, leaving half of the weight’s swivel and a small part of the hook’s leader.  It must have swallowed all the rigging at once and when I pulled back on it, that was all that came out of the fish.

The rest of the day was pretty quiet with me catching three Mackerel, one of which went back into the ocean, and Barbara catching her very first ocean fish:  A six-inch Smelt

I was just happy we were not shut out.

Weekend fishing on the pier

A small Bat Ray that got away…

I normally don’t fish on weekends due to the crowds on the pier but I bought a brand-new outfit (rod & reel) and I wanted to try it out. The new set replaced a rod & reel that I had for over 35 years.  This new setup is fantastic. My Shakespeare ATS30 combined with my 9-foot Shimano Saguaro rod made casting and reeling-in effortless. There was only one problem. When I caught a 2-foot wide Bat Ray, I decided to not gaff it because that would have killed it, so I hand lined it up and since I caught a 4-foot wide Bat Ray on the same line–35 years or so ago–I thought I was okay. The little ray put up a great fight but when it got within arm’s length of the top of the pier railing, that old line broke. I just ordered new line, 80-pound test Dacron so this won’t happen again.

Again, I was the only one catching fish today, my total today was 14 fish but 7 of those were Mackerel so I had a lot of fun and now I have a lot of bait.