Tag Archives: Jekyll Island

Jekyll Island – The Bitter Taste of Defeat

After acquiring a bunch of new gear and a kayak for this trip, everyone hopes were high that we would not only hook up with more sharks, but also some bigger ones as well.  The week leading up to the trip our bravado had gotten so high that we actually thought 5 sharks a night was a realistic number.  Well, Friday started off miserably enough for the 3 guys able to get to the beach early.  After securing bait and checking into our house for the weekend, they headed to our secret spot.  The only problem was the tide was way up, and they had a half mile walk in waist deep water, carrying all of our gear.  Luckily, the excitement was still fresh, and they were able to get setup and start sending baits out into the surf.  Well, about an hour after they started, I got a call from one of the guys (we were still driving), saying the currents were crazy, and the rocks we were using for weights were not holding.  It was not long before they had totally given up on the big shark baits, and simply turned to putting squid on the bottom to catch whatever happened to be swimming around.  All the while, waiting for the tides to slack and the current to give them a break.  A few hours later the rest of the crew was able to show up, and we were able to come up with some creative weighting solutions (aka bigger rocks) to hold the baits in the place.  I won’t even go into the adventure, and near death of an iPhone, that came from a walk across an old boardwalk with my wife and one of her girlfriends.  All I will say is that the mosquitoes were bad, and the condition of the boardwalk was worse.

Spirits were down by the time we all get setup and settled, but at least we were fishing!  Around 1am or so, one of the 9/0’s takes off, and all of a sudden everyone has forgotten about what a crappy night it has been up to this point.  We fight the shark into the surf when all of a sudden the leader comes flying back at us.  Everyone see’s this and makes a mad dive to grab the sharks tail and pull him up to the beach.  But, being the shark was in about a foot of water, and not happy at all about his situation, he made a few kicks of the tail, and that was the last we saw of him.  Turns out a crimp has come loose on the leader, and that had caused the hook to come off the line.  We were all a little bummed because it looked like a pretty decent shark, but we were also excited to finally  have a bite.  Well, as luck would have it, we would get a bunch more bites that evening, but only from mosquitoes.  Around 5am we call it a night, and the adventure back to the cars being.

The next day we all wake up feeling more optimistic about trying a new spot.  Around 5pm or so we start loading up and head back to the beach.  We get setup and everything seems to be going to plan, except for the tide.  We notice that within about an hour, the tide has exposed a good 50 yards of new beach, and our baits that were out 100 yards are now barely in any water at all.  Up until slack tide that evening, it seemed like we were constantly resetting our rods due to the tide.  Later in the evening the tides calmed down, and we were able to get settled a little better.  Around mid-night or so one of the 9’s go off again, and we are quick to jump on it.  A nice battle ensues, and we bring a very large stingray up to the shore.  To be honest, these things scare me worse than any shark we have brought up, and I am always very cautions in dealing with any stingray we bring to shore.  After securing the tail, we get the hook out of the ray, pose for a quick picture and then release it back into the sure.  A few hours later the moment we had all been waiting on happens, we get a run on the 14/0 with a barracuda on it for bait.  We run over, grab the rod and start laying into it to set the hook, but nothing is there.  We let the bait sit for a bit, but whatever hit broker the rock free, so the bait was making its way up the bank pretty quickly.  After reeling the barracuda in, we check it and don’t see a single tooth mark.  Our best guess was another ray picked it up.  We reset the bait and kill the rest of the night waiting on a bite that never came.
This trip was an eye opener for sure.  We thought shark fishing would be a sure thing this trip since we had more rods and more knowledge about what we were doing.  Turns out we were wrong.  But, thanks to my wife, we do have some pretty sweet pictures from the trip!  Until next time…

 

 

 

Gearing Up For Round 2 on Jekyll Island

With the decent amount of success we had on our last shark fishing adventure, the only thing we have been able to think about, is planning our next one.  Well, in less than a week, we will be heading back to the beach to see if we can’t tangle with a few more man eaters, but this time we are going to be a little better prepared.

Almost as soon as we returned home, the hunt was on for more and bigger reels, hooks, leader material and, most importantly, a kayak.  With just 4 days left until we hit the road again, it looks like we may just be able to have everything (assuming nothing gets lost in the mail) and really give this land based shark fishing an honest effort.

Added to the list of gear is another 9/0 senator with a brand new rod, a fully cleaned and rebuilt 14/0 senator with a monster 130lb class rod, and a nice sit on top kayak, that was, in its past life, dubbed, “The Colada.”

 

And, just for a little perspective, this is what a spool of almost 1800 yards of 125lb test monofiliment line looks like.  Sitting next to it is a spool of 750ish yards of 80lb test and the small spool is 200 yards of 17lb test (and the size spool we are use to looking at as bass fishermen).

 

 

Jekyll Island Shark Fishing

A buddy of mine is getting married very soon, and with any marriage comes a bachelor party. Well, being the grizzly men that my friends tend to be, the party was scheduled to take place on Jekyll Island, camping and shark fishing for 4 days. The only problem is that none of us had ever sharked fished from a beach before, but with the help of the internet, and the Shark Fishing Handbook, we had a vague idea of what we needed to prepare for, but still were pretty clueless when it came to actually putting a real man eater on the sand.

Since none of us had ever shark fished from the sand before, we had to acquire all the necessary gear.  Thanks to Craigslist, we found a screaming deal on a Penn 9/0 Senator reel and matching rod.  Thanks to a friend who works at a manufacturing supply house, we were able to get all the steel cable we needed for leaders and, as luck would have it, we also tracked down a kayak.  So, for a total investment of right around $100, we were ready to hit the beach.

When we got to Jekyll the first thing we noticed was just how swift the current was.  Granted, none of us were big surf fishermen, but we have also never experienced such swift current with almost zero waves.  Still, we had prepared for big current and big waves, with over 14lbs of lead to weight our baits down, so we were off and fishing.

As we fished, we were able to slowly refine our techniques, and on the second day/night of fishing, we had everything down pat.  Instead of using lead to hold our baits, we would tie on a rock to the line, using 15lb monofilament line.  When a fish would bite, the line would easily break, allowing us to fight just the fish and no additional weight on the line.  This was also nice when it came time to check baits.  Instead of dragging in a giant weight (which was a real bear), we were able to snap the line holding the rock on, and it was much easier to reel in the line.

Through the 3 nights and 4 days of fishing we caught countless small sharks, a couple very large rays and 3 nice sized lemon sharks.  The favorite bait seemed to be a bonita in the 1.5lb – 2lb range.  We did have a large, 5lb or so bait out the last night, but it never got touched.  For a group of first timers, we all went home feeling like the trip was a success, returning home with all our limbs in tact, and wanting to all get back on the beach in the near future.