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Old 07-19-2008, 02:03 AM
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bonehead bonehead is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cayman Islands
Posts: 101
Shark Hurling... the new X-GAME?

I had a similar experience years ago on the Airport Flat in Exuma. Here's how my log records it (edited in a futile attempt at brevity):

"It’s been a while and I’m not catching these fish anyway so I tell J.J. we’d better leave. He says to keep fishing while he walks back for the skiff.

He doesn’t get halfway before I hook and land a decent fish. I’ve cracked the code now and the school still hasn’t spooked. I cast again and I hook another but just as I’m thinking it’s about over, the fish bolts again and I see a shadow part the school. Shark. I reflexively point my rod and throw slack in my line. I can feel the bonefish just sitting there, perfectly still, which fools the shark. As the shark swims off to investigate the rest of the school I come tight and reel like mad, trying to drag “my fish” out of the school. The fish bolts upwind and I fight it briefly before something causes me to glance around. The shark is swimming straight at me. (It's only a four-footer, but it's still intimidating.) I stomp my foot, hoping to scare it off as I had done with other sharks before, but it came straight on – homing in on the struggling fish behind me.

At the last second I jump as the shark swims straight under me, but about halfway up I got mad – ornery, wild dog mean mad. Instead of letting it glide harmlessly under me I stomped down with all my might, right on the sharks' back. It shot off in a boil of sand, more shocked than hurt.

I quickly land the fish and look up only to find myself surrounded by at least four more. They are arranged neatly in a semicircle between the bonefish school and me. I'm still mad. Yelling, I stomp toward them, stabbing them with my rod and jumping up and down. They move off but all this noise has scared the school of bones as well. I’m afraid to lower the bonefish back into the water for fear of attracting the sharks to me, but know I cannot hold him out of the water much longer. Quickly I wade as near as I can to the main school and release the tired fish. I watch it swim slowly away and not fifteen feet from me a shark materializes and eats it, severing it about an inch behind the gill cover. I stomp at the shark and yell, but it’s too late. “My fish” is dead.

I scare the shark off its meal, but also anger it. It begins to follow me so I retreat to the shelter of some mangroves shrubs. The shark still follows, its body-language an exaggerated threat. Nothing I do will deter it and it stays about a rod-length behind me as I wade in and out of the mangroves. Finally I hit on a tactic that worked.

Walking in a rough circle, I wade past the severed bonefish head – a mute horror staining the water red. The shark smells the blood and forgets about me as it finishes its meal.

Minutes later I meet JJ and my fishing partner on the other side of the flat. I tell them about my adventure and they both start laughing. “What?” I ask.

I heard now that JJ was already laughing to himself as he got back to the boat. He had saw me fighting a fish. When asked what the joke was, he said “Dose sharks, dey prob’ly chasin’ him right now.” Great. I was almost devoured alive and my guide and girlfriend think it’s funniest thing since Seinfeld."
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