- Sports and Recreation
DO THEY SWIM WITH YOU
Do You Know The Graveyard?
I love "The Graveyard Of The Atlantic". You never can tell what might show up there. I have seen the very strange Sunfish with no tail. It was quite a phenomenon! I have seen acres upon acres of dolphin swimming in protective pods. I have been blessed and was there on those days of no reason for the abundance of wildlife on the ocean. I have caught spots over 1 lb. completely filling my cooler. I have been fishing down here for over 20 years. This place is a great refuge of marine estuarine wildlife.
Last week I learned a valuable lesson about humans and bait in the water. As I chucked my 7ft. cast net in about 4ft. of water after a school of glass minnows; I was bumped very hard on my shin. I saw a 2ft. dorsal fin cruising away from me. My shin was scratched and bleeding slightly when the 2ft. dorsal fin materialized again and came straight at me and became a 6ft. Lemmon shark! This shark is a man eater and I gave him a mouth full of cast net! Lucky for me he got mad at the cast net and destroyed it. I backed out of the water and by the grace of God I did not get hit. It happened so fast that I was not scared until I got back on the beach! In 2008 between Fort Macon and Emerald Isle we had two documented shark attacks that caused serious injury requiring stitches. I personally know of five surfers who got bumped like myself this year. I saw their abrasions.
I have noticed over the last two years the shark population has increased greatly. I have caught several in the 100 lbs. to 135 lbs. class this year. This is due to larger size limits and I believe greater numbers of hurricanes. Last year I hooked a Blacktip that had a very good chance of being a state record. She cleared the water by 15 feet about 10 times! She was every bit of 11 feet long and fat. You would have been amazed at how fast the ocean emptied of people! I was not fishing for sharks so I had a mono leader that after six minutes was cut with the shark's teeth.
I think that people should be very aware when they are swimming in the ocean. We are in their pool and not the other way around. My advice to you is never go in murky or dirty water. Under these conditions a shark might very well mistake a person for game. Do not ever leave small bite-size children alone in the water. Sharks are opportunistic killers and have no problem eating small prey as well as attacking prey twice their size. If you are a female never I mean never go into the ocean when you are menstruating. My goal here is not scare you but rather to make you aware that there are sharks swimming with you.
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