Talk about an encounter I'll never forget!
On a recent trip over to the east coast of Florida to shoot a fishing episode, we joined forces with a top-notch local captain for the show and set out for our target species...Cobia. Our tactic this day was to sight giant Manta Rays and sight cast to the Cobia following them.
This wasn't too difficult given our talented captain was well-versed in this method since he's been successful with it for years. He has a very high tower above the deck of the boat to drive from and it's a real advantage when it comes to sighting the Mantas. We definitely caught a few nice cobia that day!
Also known as Devil Rays (the original mascot for the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team), Manta Rays can have up to a 20+ foot wingspan making them somewhat easy to spot in the clear waters along Florida's Space Coast near Cape Canaveral. After catching a few nice Cobia for the show and continuing our search for a few bigger fish, we spotted something in the distance. It was definitely a large shark dorsal fin and as we got closer the shape of the dorsal easily gave away the species of shark...a Hammerhead!
Thanks to our boat motors and the fact the shark didn't submerge as we approached, we were able to easily catch up with this giant beast. As we approached I rushed to get my GoPro camera ready and proceeded to hang dangerously far off the bow of the boat to stick it in the water for some underwater footage of this magnificent specimen. I've never seen a Hammerhead nearly that close in the wild, usually I just spot their dorsal from far away, but this was an experience I will never forget. I'd guesstimate it was about a 15-16ft shark or so...take a look at a couple of the clips from the encounter below!
The boat was moving at a decent speed to keep up with this big guy in the water so it was a bit difficult to keep the camera relatively still as I dangled off the bow. I almost fell off the front of the boat at one point when we hit a few sizable waves and nobody warned me, thankfully I had someone standing right next to me holding onto my belt as I leaned overboard. I have had several close up encounters with sharks over the years while fishing, some intentional and some not, but this definitely tops my list. Now I just need to catch one!
Thanks for stopping by!follow me @liberty-minded
until next time...