King Mackeral

Posted by: Argon

King Mackeral - 09/29/11 12:43 PM

I am down on Oak Island for summer vacation - Sunday morning out surf fishing. Not long and I have a small shark - maybe 10 inches. Big dude, maybe 6'5", Tribal Tattoos on his upper arm, comes walking up "excuse me sir, what are you going to do with that"? I say "throw it back". He asks if he can keep it for cut bait? And...by the way, him and his buddies will take anything I don't want to keep all week. I say sure and go back to fishing.

Few minutes later, I see one of his buddies standing on the beach holding a deep sea rig while he climbs into a kayak and paddles straight out. I can hear the line zinging off the reel - so I start watching. He goes out maybe 400-500 yards - apparently drops the hook with my shark on it and then paddles back in. They have PVC tubes standing in the sand - with the tops maybe 6 feet off the beach and the rods are in the tubes. Now my curiosity is up so I walk over and ask "did I see that right" They already have the beers going and they smile and say "yup". I asked what they were fishing for and they laugh and say "King Mackeral or Cobia" SO...I say "cool" and go back over to my spot.
Posted by: Argon

Re: King Mackeral - 09/29/11 12:54 PM

Ok....distracted by work...So about 45 minutes later, the reel erupts ZIIIIINGGG....Big Dude jumps up and grabs the rod. Buddy jumps and grabs a strap on rod holder - Big Dude sets - and I mean sets the hook with authority. Buddy straps the holder on Big Dude who is using both hands to hold the rod. By now I am not paying any attention to my rod - just watching the show. about 25 minutes later Big Dude pulls in a Black Tip Shark maybe 5 and a half feet long. They pull it up onto the beach and use a pair of bolt cutters to get the hook out. Hook is maybe 5/16" diameter steel. Take a few pics and throw it back. I'm thinkin "pretty awesome show" - and of course now I understand why they laughed when they said King Mackeral....
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: King Mackeral - 09/29/11 03:33 PM

That would be quite a site. Too bad their wasn't video/photos to go along with your nicely descriptive narrative. I could almost picture it!

Great story!
Posted by: Argon

Re: King Mackeral - 09/29/11 06:34 PM

Well...on Monday, the group (after observing my daughters) had moved closer where we could talk back and forth. Wind was up and the surf was rough. Whitecaps and waves going in all directions. They were paddling out most of the time without a vest. I asked the buddy how in the hell they were going out without a vest. Buddy Dude says "I was a Navy Diver....I can swim. Not worried about drowning - more worried about getting bit. Turns out Big Dude was in the Marines. These guys were fearless in the water. Wednesday I caught a skate and gave it to them. They got a hit and reeled it in. Shark was not on but only the top half of the skate was still there. Pretty awesome bite radius was evident.
Posted by: Argon

Re: King Mackeral - 09/29/11 06:42 PM

Later on Wednesday, line really starts zinggginng off the reel. Big Dude jumps up clicks off the drag and goes to set the hook. Immediately, he starts getting pulled towards the water. He sets the drag back and line keeps zinging out. Few minutes later, line slows down, he clicks drag back off and gets pulled back to the water. He goes to one knee to try and hold it but...no good. He keeps getting pulled. Sets drag back and line zings off again. After about 15 minutes, the shark is tired enough that he can slowly and with great effort back up the beach but still can't reel. As he walks back towards th water, he can reel. This goes on for maybe 20 minutes. By now a crowd is starting to gather. at about the 45 minute mark, there is maybe 100 people gathered in a semicircle watching the spectacle - including the Beach Patrol.
Posted by: Argon

Re: King Mackeral - 09/29/11 06:49 PM

At about 50-55 minutes, the beast shows in the surf - collective gasp from the crowd when the fins break the surface. Huge. Still a struggle just to reel and suddenly, shark gets a burst of energy and takes off parallel to the beach. Now all the buddies start running down the beach yelling and whistling to the kids, adults and grandmas wading in the surf to "GET OUT of THE WATER". It looked like the scene from Jaws where the little kid gets eat off the float. People were screaming, splashing, staggering out of the surf.....Maybe 10 more minutes and they get Shark Dude in far enough where he wasn't floating but still in the water. Navy Dude wades out with a lasso and tries to snare the tail. Shark is whipping back and forth with teeth gnashing at the men. Navy Dude wades back in when Shark Dude settles down a bit. Shark Dude whips his tail around and catches Navy Dude on the leg. Took the skin right off. Looked like road rash....
Posted by: Argon

Re: King Mackeral - 09/29/11 06:57 PM

Finally gets the loop on the tail and together they drag it onto the beach. Cheer goes up from the crowd and up walks Beach Patrol. She says do you have a license? Yup. She says what're you going to do with it. Big Dude says "Let it go". BP says "You can let it go if you can paddle it back out where it got hooked". Big Dude says "well boy's looks like we're having shark for supper". It gets a bit gory here as they cut the tail off to let it bleed out. It was an 8 foot long Bull Shark. Huge to me. They load it into their pickup and take it back to their house which was 2 doors down from us. They estimated 350 - 400 pounds. One of the crowd turns out knows how to butcher a shark. Problem was their filet knife wouldn't touch it. Sounded like it was scraping concrete. They sent a guy to the bait shop to get a specific serrated knife. He gets back but they still couldn't get through the skin. Finally, a box cutter stabbed straight in was able to penetrate and start the process.
Posted by: Argon

Re: King Mackeral - 09/29/11 07:17 PM

SO....to bring this saga to a close....On Friday I caught a 10" whiting and gave it to them. Bout an hour later....Ziiingg. I turn around to look and Navy Dude is holding the belt out to me. He says "It's your bait..." I said..."oh HELL yeah". I strap on the belt and they start giving me instructions on how to use the rig. My fight took about 20 minutes and was a 3 1/2 to 4 footer. I have to admit it was one of the most interesting weeks at the beach that I can remember.

I have a few pics but not sure how to post them to the thread? IF anyone has a link handy to a thread that gives instrux....
Posted by: Murph

Re: King Mackeral - 09/29/11 07:58 PM

Dude!
Posted by: Argon

Re: King Mackeral - 09/29/11 08:35 PM

HaHAA....figured it out







Then...on Friday...



So....What did you do on summer vacation?
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: King Mackeral - 09/29/11 10:33 PM

Awesome.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: King Mackeral - 09/29/11 10:57 PM

Whew. Smells fishy to me. Yuck!
Posted by: jakewash

Re: King Mackeral - 09/30/11 02:02 AM

Sounds like a good vacation, that was a good size Bull shark
Posted by: medic8r

Re: King Mackeral - 09/30/11 09:59 AM

Great thread. For the rest of today, I'm gonna have my staff call me "Big Dude".
Posted by: alan

Re: King Mackeral - 09/30/11 10:33 AM

Great story!

At the moment, I'm on my sailboat in Georgian Bay weathering a classic September gale (in port!) with 40-knt gusts. It's a gale watch over much of the Great Lakes and I'm glad I'm not out in the open bay. It's quite comfortable in port--the heater is on and the boat moves around quite a bit--and the wireless internet is working fine.

I don't fish any more but that was a great yarn you told and that shark is huge! The largest fish I ever caught up here in the Great Lakes was a 4-foot pike that I reeled in when I was 9 years old. It seemed like a giant to me at the time. I had to use a gaff to get it into the boat.

I'm back in port because I was doing an overnight at Snake Island (saw no snakes) about 7 miles out near a lighthouse, and lost my diesel auxilliary the next morning as I motored out from the anchorage (bearings in the water pump seized and the engine began to overheat so I shut it down). Had to sail back, which turned out to be OK because the winds and weather were favorable, with some tacking. I accepted a tow into the yacht harbour as trying to sail into my mooring would have been too risky.

Alan
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: King Mackeral - 09/30/11 12:44 PM

We are going on 2 family trips next year. Southern California and North Myrtle Beach. I'll be sure not to show these pictures to my family.
Posted by: davidsch

Re: King Mackeral - 09/30/11 01:06 PM

I really enjoyed the story. Thanks for the pics.
Posted by: Argon

Re: King Mackeral - 10/02/11 07:44 PM

Originally Posted By: nickbuol
We are going on 2 family trips next year. Southern California and North Myrtle Beach. I'll be sure not to show these pictures to my family.

North Myrtle Beach is about 45 minutes south of Oak Island.....