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It happens at the oddest time. I’ve been posting to this board for close to three years now. Reading up on surf-fishing and trying to catch my first big shark. Living on the outskirts of Dallas a trip to the coast is a fairly big undertaking. Especially when you consider family obligations, work and hunting season. As often as possilbe I pack up the xTerra and head to the beach. I’ve been to PINs, Matagorda, High Island, and San Luis Pass â€" I’ve caught a lot of great fish … but no big sharks. I’ve caught some good sized Reds, Black Drum, Jacks, but when it comes to sharks I’ve not pulled anything in bigger than 2 feet. Not for a lack of buying. I've bought lines, leaders and rods reals and kayaks. Not for a lack of trying. I've built my own surf weights, read up on reading the beach. Just a lack of experience, luck and good fishing opportunities.



My family loves the beach. When I go down to San Luis Pass, it’s strictly family fishing. It is my favorite kind of fishing. This weekend my Brother-and-Sister-in-law’s family would be joining us. Packed up the xTerra with body boards, chairs and plenty of food.



The first picture below is a picture of base camp. Yup, my kids are junior surfers â€" not fishermen. Their young 8 & 5, and don't like to touch the bait. Breaks my heart but what can you do? However, they are beach babies and love the coast.



Got to the beach by 8:30AM on Saturday and the sun was shining. Got some lines out and set up base camp. I was primarily angling for Reds. SLP has always been good to me. It’s where I first tried surf-fishing three short years ago, and where I’ve caught some great drum and trout. I had the spinning reel with 20 pound test line and a simple double drop leader. Nothing fancy, but I was hoping I would get some Red Drum to take home with me.



Around 10:30 I got a strike. A little rod bender. Barely noticeable, but the first strike of the morning. I pulled in half a fish. The back end was gone. Hmmm, I thought to myself … what should I do? I loaded up a standard issue Drum leader â€" the kind you can buy for a couple of bucks at Bass Pro. I took half the croaker that was left … and put a hook through it. I then cast it out.



Well the noon hour hit. My wife handed me a burger … and I grabbed a beer. What do you know â€" my fishing pole jumped up and down like crazy. I threw down the grub and ran towards the pole. From the moment I grabbed the rod I knew it was a big shark. It was running down the beach. I let it have as much line as I could afford. Thankfully the beach was not crowded as the fish traveled a great distance. My brother in law, who is also new to surf-fishing was diligently following with the net. (He has helped me land a lot of Reds that would have been lost getting them to the shore.) Knowing the shark did not want to go near the shore I let her have a lot of line in an attempt to tire her out. After 20 minutes she was close enough to be seen. After a couple of panicked moments when the shark took a run directly at us the shark was finally on the beach.



There it was … after three years … my first big shark. Measured in at four and a half feet. My wife took a couple of pictures. What was real interesting is a gentleman came over and asked if I was going to release the shark. I said sure. He certainly was a big help reviving the shark. I’ve always found a lot of good people at the beach.



A couple of hours after that, I had a repeat performance. I had just caught a hard-head, cut off the fins and threw it back out. Bam, another bite. This shark was about three inches smaller and didn’t put up as good as a fight. Still made me plenty proud. Again, another passer-by helped me release it into the water.



Can’t tell you how happy I’ve been this entire weekend. Two sharks in one day. After so much reading, experimenting, and traveling. Thanks to all the great information on this board I finally did what I set out to do ... catch some sharks … and release them. All as a matter of luck. Didn’t have the bigger shark gear, no kayak, no big hooks, test-line or bait. The good thing is the whole family could share the experience.


I’ve been told the first shark is a Sand Bar, and the second is a Black Tip. Does that look about right?
 

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Nice

Nice sharks.
They are both Blacktips. On the second shark, the long freetips on the 2nd dorsal and anal fin are quite similar to that of a silky. However I am still quite confident in my decision and say they are both Blacktips.

Nice sharks.
 

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just an observation. you said "I let her have a lot of line in an attempt to tire her out." the second pic sure looks like a male to me. :)

is that the Cajun Red Lightning line you're using? what # ?
 

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Gulf Coast *******
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Nice Tippers.....That pic on top is a male and the bottom is a female. Way to go! I was out there at SLP this past weekend as well and I got tail whipped by a big shark.

I was fishing the galveston side where the pass meets the surf. Right where the beach turns into the pass. I had a big run and I could feel the tail bumping the line as it was swimming and then "SNAP". I think it was a bull that got wrapped up in the leader cause it was swimming slow away from me. I also saw another bull shark caught while i was there. I gave up early cause I was there to spend time with family.

My fish got everybody around me all excited and when I left two people ran over to my spot and casted some lines out and they got tangled in each other from the current....LOL.....
 

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Re: Great report.

Great report/pix and Congrats on the 'Tippers!

Huh,... I'm surprised neither (at least one of 'em) did'nt go airborne?

;)
 

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Wich side, Galveston or Freeport? Great report, congrats. I still feel the pain you felt. My biggest shark is a 46" sharpnose. I'm hell on pups though, LoL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Skipjack - sorry I missed ya on the beach. I've enjoyed your reports, it would have been great to meet you in person. Maybe sometime down at PINs.

Skavatar - I was using the Red Cajun Fire Line. Twenty pound test. Like I said, since I was down with the family I opted not to take the heavy equipment and was angling for Drum. I like the Cajun stuff. Not exactly sure why, it looks good and I've heard that red is the hardest color to see underwater.

No doubt I'm hooked.
 

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Beautiful fish, and here I said it would be too blown out! Then again, I'm mostly a pansy trout fisherman. Congratulations!
 

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Congratulations on your first real shark! I can still remember when I caught my first real shark, I couldn't stop talking about it for a week
 

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congrats on a nice couple of catches, It sure makes everything seem like it was all worth it. I am sure that you are hooked and will be on the beach now even more often so you can feel the massive run again.

Ramon
 

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Oz, I beg to differ. Yes I agree that the first pic is a blacktip, but the second I belive to be a Sandbar. The dorsal on the second shark is just too large for the body size. Also the pectoral fins look longer then on a blacktip. Last, the color seems odd, or the shark has got jundice. All these factors could be camera angle and lighting. The ID characteristic that Could determine species is if it had a middorsal ridge. So ZenDaddy did it have a ridge between the first and second dorsal fins?

Mr.Pigfish

PS. Oldsalt the wind is 3 mph for the west here...........FYI
 

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Nice Rig You Got There. Nice Sharks. Way To Go Dude!
 

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I have to disagree with you about the ID

Hey Pigfish, the second shark has a white flank down the side of the body. The second shark is defenitely weird looking but its probably because its a little on the thin side.....maybe its on the Atkins diet...LOL...

Thats defenitely a BT
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
PigFish / SkipJack,

About the pictures ... it's kinda like a good fist fight. Everyone has a plan in mind until they get hit. I always thought I'd take the time to get some good pictures, make sure the hair was just right, get my handsome side, make sure the the shark looked big and mean etc...

The reality is the adrenaline is moving through ya', the shark is jumping around and I was far down the beach from the camera. By the time my wife ran down with the camera the shark had been on the beach for a while. (Don't forget she can't abonden the little 'uns, they have to be with her or I at all times.) Thus the pictures aren't great for shark identification.

Also, I've only been doing this for a couple of years. I still can't always tell a hard head from a gafftop. My shark ID skills are non-existent. But like so many other things in life that never stopped me from voicing an opinion.

The gentleman who helped me get the first shark in the water identified it as a SandBar. He seemed to know what he was doing. In fact he recicitated it pretty handily when it initially went belly up. (Nice guy, he was friendly but insistent I get it back in the water.) The first shark does not have a black tip on its fin. (The second clearly did.) Most noticable was the first shark had a very sleek head and mouth. It looked a lot less threatening than the second shark. The mouth was down lower. Hard to explain except they looked different. The second shark was covered with sucker fish, not so with the first. (Not sure if this means anything.)

Sure hope when I catch my first big bull I can ID that!
 
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