- by Linn Barnes
This morning I went out a little late to the same spot I began fishing with my father maybe 75 years ago. It is just off the south end of the Bethany Beach boardwalk. The weather had cleared and it was a perfect September morning with a cool and building breeze from the NE. There was one other fisherman and his family on the beach. I watched him as I was setting up my rod and chair and he was not engaged.
I baited with bunker I had filleted the night before, threw a pretty fair cast, and almost immediately got a hit and pulled in a very small blue, which I thru back. Several casts later, with the sea and wind rising, I got a substantial hit, let him go for a second or two and hit him hard and it was game on. This was a powerful fish who I had to play very carefully for about ten minutes. Although he was strong, I could tell by the way he fought that he was neither a blue, striper or weakfish (sea-trout). I knew he was a shark by the way he moved and used his weight to fight me. Out of nowhere a small crowd of on lookers had assembled just as I was bringing the fish to shore. I saw him in the waves and confirmed that he was a sand shark, and looked to weigh about twenty-five pounds or so. Without too much trouble I was able to drag him onto the beach. The trick at this point was to get him unhooked and back in the sea without harming him. I got him on his back and was able to extricate the hook with pliers that I carry for just that reason. This critter may have been small, I guess less than the 'lethal' version of sharkdom, but you did not want to allow that mouth full of very serious looking teeth anywhere near you. All went well, a nice guy took a couple of pictures and off he went.
Nothing else appeared the rest of the morning. I packed up and went back to the house. I would soon be back.