Last Saturday I caught my first Bonnet Head Shark on fly. To say the experience was exhilarating doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel five days later. I can’t get it out of my head. Watching that dorsal fin break the waters surface instantly increases my heart rate in some primal response that tells me I’m in the presence of an apex predator. Even though they don’t get large and aren’t a threat to humans, I still get the same feeling every time. Nate poled me slowly down the bank as the tide was starting to drop and the water was receding to the edge of the grass. I spotted a shark weaving in and out of the grass line. When he was in range I placed the fly a few feet ahead to allow it time to get down a bit. When the shark was mere inches from it I stripped it short and quick. It fired him up. He wheeled 90 degrees and began chasing the the fly as I frantically stripped it imitating prey attempting to escape. I kept the fly darting just in front of the sharks face until he finally opened wide and the fly disappeared. I strip set and then brought the rod up hard and to the side. I was unprepared for what happened next. I have bass fished most of my life. Rarely if ever have I had a fish pull drag or even needed to put a fish on the reel. The sound of drag is foreign to me. The sight of my bowed rod, spinning spool, and disappearing fly line jolted me to my senses and I put heavy pressure on the fish as he attempted to leave the flat.
That shark never gave up. Even as we were getting a few quick photos I could feel his muscles rippling under my fingers. For just a few moments I had been connected to a raw, primal power that was as nearly as old as the world itself.
Of Backing and Teeth Published on May 20, 2015 by Jscoggin
Nice work FlyLineMedia and J. Scoggin!!