zcoker

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About zcoker

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  • About Me:
    Easy going, carefree, night creeper for Snook.
  • Interests (Hobbies, favorite activities, etc.):
    Fishing! But I have some old school street killers (Porsche 930 Turbo 550hp/BMW 528I 700HP).
  • What I do for a living:
    Healthcare
  1. My take on this shark story: we crashed that gals party LoL That shark was BAITED long before we baited it that morning on that beach. They were diving out there, feeding their pets, doing what they do for NetGeo. They show up in full wetsuits, screaming and yapping. Come on, no big hammer is going to come around in twenty five feet of water in broad daylight with boats zooming ALL over the place, no bait around, water crystal clear...unless...unless...unless it is CONDITIONED to hang around in that area. We were in no way expecting BIG HAMMERS but blacktips to tag, naturally, because it is the time of their annual migration. That's why we put the baits out so close, maybe 50 - 75 yards at the most. In any case, and to try and answer you questions, CBS knows nothing of the shark fishing laws. Again, they presumed or assumed this or that based on a one sided account. They did not research the regs becasue there simply was no TIME before air time. They do, however, realize their mistake thus the reason they want to do a full story with me. It all comes down to what makes NEWS, sensationalism...Mr. Trump speaks to us a lot about this FAKE NEWS crap....a perfect example here. Everything this gal is saying is BS. I have time stamped photos that show that shark out of the water for 2 minutes! That is amazing. Hell, I've taken longer on frigging blacktips! And it only took thirty minutes to get that big gal in! Their was NO chumming or blood baiting as she so implies. Heck, we had throughout the whole event a frigging police officer who we even used to help us out! I have the whole Singer Island Police Department saying to come and fish their island anytime and, as far as they are concerned, it was the most amazing catch and release that they have ever seen. Surely, surely, if we were chumming or doing anything ILLEGAL, then the word POLICE or LAW means nothing LoL. Here's when the yapping boat shows up, note the FULL WETSUIT of the DIVER. I'm in the red shorts working like hell to cut the hook out of the shark's mouth. They had been anchored out there long before but we paid them no mind becasue they were stationary. And here's the cop LoL who held the rod while we ran over to leader the fish...in black white POLICE lettering....you can see the bulge of his gun on his right hip LoL This whole scene is a perfect example of why shark fishing is so misunderstood. People just don't report things correctly, so one sided, and so misunderstood. I may not be perfect but I sure and the hell try my best to approach this sport like I always preach. Even still, when one is confronted with a big creature like this, it can become daunting and a bit overwhelming and mistakes or errors CAN happen. Regardless, I still feel that this catch/release was EXCELLENT (and so does FWC) and should be used as an example for proper catch release practices for anyone who is into land based shark fishing.
  2. Read my last post up...media statement from FWC. What gets me with all this is that a lot of people are afraid of sharks else a lot of people hate sharks....but they sure and the hell LOVE them when some media storm like this comes along! And the media is so one side, too. Well, I'm not putting up with it anymore. Too many shark fishermen run and hide when the lime light is cast upon them....and I can certainly understand why. But not anymore...not me LoL Putting my food down on this one. Shark fishing is LEGAL. Can happen on ANY beach below the mean tide line. And if ya happen to catch an endangered fish, FWC has specific guidelines to help expedite its release. And as long as one adheres to those guidelines (like in the case of the star hammerhead LoL), and even if ya got a ton of people filming ya, no one can do ANYTHING to you! I have been in direct contact with CBS 12 and have arranged to do a LIVE interview related to shark fishing. Was gonna happen today but got side tracked by some crazy school shooting down in Broward County, so the film crew had to head south. My intentions are to stand up for this sport. If we don't, gonna crash around us, won't be any place left to fish.
  3. A lot of people think that we shark fishermen "target" these endangered fish, that we have some sort of secret bait that catches them. Truth is, one never knows what's going to hit a bait. Sure, it can be guessed at based off what baits running, etc. Like if blues are running, chances are high that the sharks will hit them. But that's not always the case, either. I've had blues/jacks all over the place with sharks all over the place and the sharks would touch neither. I can only stand by this statement: be ready for ANYTHING! Shark fishing is a PACKAGE DEAL and requires a LOT of skill and know-how. It's not something that can be taken lightly as YouTube and the likes implies....it's serious business. In the case of the giant hammer here, it was in the surf zone in 30 minutes and from surf to release took 2 minutes, which is excellent. FWC has on their website a publication called Shark Smart Fishing which I recommend be read and memorized by anyone thinking of getting into this sport...or who already is in this sport....maybe even a refresher for some. As for the firestorm surrounding this one shark, which is coast to coast all over the country, here is a statement released today by the FWC: Media statement: Preliminary information and a full review of the video that has been provided to law enforcement indicates that the anglers followed best practices and guidelines while releasing the shark and no violation of state law occurred. If any member of the public has additional information about this incident, we encourage them to contact our Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.”
  4. So, here we go with another sharky adventure, this time plastered all over the news as well as social media. ALL the local news channels in Palm Beach County are having a field day becasue of this catch and release of a 13 foot hammerhead shark. How ironic that National Geographic happened to be sitting right out there in a boat where I was fishing with some nut-case chic screaming and yapping, who I later come to find out frequents the area to dive and film sharks for NetGeo....feeding them, yes, attracting them, and, yes, altering their normal nocturnal habits for their own publication glory.... This whole scene should've played out the other way, in my opinion, with the networks promoting a positive encounter of catch and release instead of a one sided greased up witch hunt. FWC has very specific guidelines that were followed quite well, in my opinion, with this particular fish....as well as with all my fish. In any case, this particular shark swam off and there is no evidence of a dead shark, which they are all waiting for with their claws out LoL. http://cbs12.com/news/local/possible-shark-abuse-caught-on-camera Another interesting catch 9 food Sand Tiger!!!...very rare for Florida waters Of course, got a lot of bulls on spinning gear...all about the same size here As usual with all sharks, ALL released as fast and as safely as possible. All sharks tagged for NOAA. As an aside, remember that shark fishing is NOT ILLEGAL here in Florida as the media sometimes plays it up to be. Promoting safe release is as follows: Have the correct gear! Do not skimp on gear -- you want to bring the fish in as fast a possible or as green as possible with no break-offs. If you cannot afford the correct gear, don't fish for sharks! Have a well experienced team around, people who KNOW how to handle big sharks. Do dry-runs, rehearsals. NO FEAR. Have ready at all times the TOOLS necessary for a quick release: bolt cutters, de-hookers, etc. Waste no time de-hooking. If cannot remove hook, cut it. And if no tools around, just cut the line. Do not attempt to bring shark up on beach with no way to release it just for a picture. FWC says that measuring and photos can only be done "during the active release process". FWC rules state that the shark must be left in as much water as possible "while maintaining the safety of the angler and those nearby". If deep gut, bring up higher onto the lapping wash to de-hook. Do not get in the deep rolling gut with a big pissed off thrashing shark! After de-hooking, drag shark back into water by tail, turn sideways and slowly aim fish outward open ocean and then give her a good shove off. Sometimes this has to be done a number of times because of the wave conditions. Sometime as well it may be required to swim with fish until she perks up and then do the swim-off procedure. Always be aware during this process that the fish being released is in a "target condition" , meaning that other sharks nearby could attack. That's way I always recommend staying on the beach-side of the fish being released so as to have a sort of barrier in case another shark attacks, especially on dark nights! There's no way one can predict what size and kind of shark will hit a bait, so be ready at ALL times and NEVER assume that just because you are on a very busy beach with lots of boat traffic amid a beautiful Florida day that you will catch easy-peazy fish LoL.
  5. Bridges is where it's at on foot down there in the Keys. Not really beaches like you know them in Key West, Fort Zachary, Higgs, and Smathers...about it. Yes, they're beaches but very shallow. Zachary is deepest but on the channel side where the cruise ships come in. The beach itself, Zachary, is blocked by rock piles out in the water. Only bridge close to Key West with good action is 7 mile right after Bahia Honda. I usually stick to the Long Key Bridge, catch a TON of fish from there. The smaller bridges also have good action. Catch the tides right and you can do very well down there off the bridges.
  6. Might want to check out Hanta Rods. I use their Ulua XH GT popping rod to catch big sharks here on the se coast of Florida. Rod is insane. Reel of choice is Stella 18k or Saltiga Expedition 8000 on it. Has landed sharks over 8ft. Quite sure it can handle Tuna with no problems. The guides on Hanta are specifically designed for knots, wind on's, FG or whatever. I use 100lb mono top shot with FG and can't even feel it pass through the guides. Big knots, big line...no problem. Plus it drags anything in without a hiccup.
  7. I recommend going to the FWC website http://myfwc.com/license/ There, you will get strait answers to your questions and should have a complete understanding of what is required in the state of Florida for residents and non residents for both salt and fresh water species The site is quite specific and explains in detail the requirements. Hope it helps.
  8. From FWC: "License requirements follow the species of fish, regardless of where they are caught. In other words, if you only have a freshwater license and are primarily fishing for largemouth bass or bream (freshwater species) in a river, but happen to catch a red drum (a saltwater species), you must immediately release the red drum."
  9. Don't get me wrong--bridge fishing for big sharks is doable and very rewarding. It's a crazy, insane way to catch them and takes a LOT of planning to get right. Teamwork is your friend! Many obstacles to overcome but that's just part of the challenge. What I usually do is dry run a new bridge, scoping out the surrounding areas for possible landing zones. Also gotta bare in mind that when you do fish, you'll must likely have other people around, yes, with lines out, yes, and have to toggle round them to leader in the shark. Can get frustrating as hell at times. They don't always want to pull in their line while your leadering away on an 10+ foot shark. Seawalls don't always mean you can't have a safe release, either. Sometimes the release is just as easy as on a beach. The seawall by the Long Key Bridge, for example, is very shallow sandy bottom, quite easy to step into and work away on a big fish. Bridges are home to some very large sharks, as you may know, so I only recommend big Senators or Avets or whatever with heavy line, 200lb test. I run 1000lb mono leader off bridges.
  10. Yes, wishful thinking. Just the height on that bridge, way up there with a fish way below slapping around in the current...no way it's just gonna slip out. I fish barbless exclusively and never have had a hook slip out. Sure, it happens, sometimes. Just not all the time. That entire bay area is very shallow (with the exception of a few places) so your options are limited for sharks, especially during low tide. Can practically walk a mile in some areas which normally look deep at high tide. Cold weather is good, though, for places like Apollo Beach, the TECO power plant where the hot water dumps into the bay. That place is LOADED during the colder months with all kinds of action. Plenty of places to park and fish around there without the need of boat or yak. There's a park right on the water by the discharge area. Not spot burning, either, because that place is well known over there. Ft. Desoto is another good option, plenty deep with a good current. Very nice park! Have caught a lot of sharks over there near the Fort. Also, Bean Pointe on Anna Maria Island is nice, about the deepest casting area around. I have a depth finder on my yak and I see 30 plus feet some 20 feet from shore, a cliff that drops strait down...just perfect for casting. West coast hit or miss during daytime; I usually fish at night over there. Bait is the key. Get some good fresh bait and you should be good to go. Have fun breaking-in those Stellas! Just got an 18K for casting and LOVE IT!
  11. I fish the west coast area a lot for sharks, not so much the Skyway because, to answer your question, there's no way to safely land one by the bridge because there's no beach. From the entrance of the fishing bridge a rocky seawall runs the entire length on both sides. What we usually do is yak baits off the wall from the end of the bridge and then leader them by the seawall, which requires getting into the water with them to take the hook out. There are some areas by the wall where you can do that --- but I don't recommend doing this kind of release unless you have extensive experience being in the water with pissed off sharks....especially at night. Most of those sharks at the Skyway are MONSTERS.....medium sized does not exist there LoL. The other way you mentioned, popping the hook for the sake of a thrill, I'm not inclined to agree with that. For me, at least, catching sharks is a package deal, meaning the fish MUST swim off safely with no piercings. Hope you heed to that advice.
  12. Moon phases? I try to stay away from big full moons for sharking although the full moon does help when yaking baits out LoL. In general, I like the dark side of the moon, or the waxing waning phases. But to be totally honest, I could really care less and I just go fishing whenever I can. Some may differ and that's fine. You'd be better off researching the tidal phases in the Keys.
  13. I was just at Indian Shores not too long ago for 3 days, had a nice little hotel right on the beach but I wasn't actually fishing for anything but sharks. I did hookup to a hammerhead right behind my hotel but other than that action was minimal. I had no problem with bait, though, lot of rays cruising the beach. One cast with my net got me 8 of them suckers. Seen a lot of mullet jumping around. Trout should be getting on, drum, redfish...the usual. Hit beach early AM. Very shallow from shoreline to about 300 yards.....13 feet 300 yards out on my depth finder. Tons of crab traps when I was there! Anyhow, if shore casting, I'd just get some live bait and cast out behind your hotel, sit in a nice comfortable chair and let the area absorb you into complete oblivion until something comes along and nails your rod. Down the road from the Shores is John's Pass, has a nice jetty there, strong current under that bridge with a flat concrete platform under the south side to fish off of. Can always walk out onto the jetty, too. There's the pier close by as well if you want to get into that. And if you get hungry after fishing all day and want a really GOOD pizza, hit Vito & Michael's Pizzeria....open daily until 4am! PS: If you don't catch much of anything, you can at least catch nice sunsets behind your hotel LoL
  14. No measurement....gotta be quick with hammers to get them back into the water. If I had to guess, 14+
  15. HOLY HAMMER! Couldn't even get this one in the camera frame