The Right Kind My First Thresher Shark
By John "Quietman" Roe
|I went down to the Harbor about 3:15 PM and launched
planning to go back out the headland kelp like yesterday. Very nice afternoon, a bit windy
as always from the west, kinda choppy but not horrible. I left the harbor and got into a
paddling rhythm that didn't involve too much water over the bow.
As I got past the worst of the kelp around the harbor mouth I started thinking about putting out the trolling rods, but thought I would go a bit further first. Soon I metered some bait and some big marks, so I went ahead and put out two Rapalas.
Not three minutes later at 2.2 knots, my heavier stick gets knocked hard. I immediately thought "thresher tail slap", and kept paddling and hoping for a connect. Bingo, line starts pealing. I got the rod, and started winding but the shark was swimming right at me. I had a few anxious moments wondering if I was still on or not, then off she went on a loooong run.
I was very happy. I had 45' of water under me, no kelp and a nice loose drag. When the
shark slowed I wound in the other line and stowed the rod. After a couple more runs I got
out my camera and took a picture of the rod, the one I posted on the message board.
I wanted the shark to fight until it was darn good and tired. I was in no hurry and was enjoying myself and my tow immensely. I stowed the radio, FF and GPS and put my paddle behind me to clear the deck. I clambered up to my forward hatch and retrieved my special tie-off line I had put together for just this event.
After about 15 minutes I saw color and was a little disappointed it wasn't a bigger Mr. T. But since I had never landed one from the yak before I decided I should count my blessings. She was tail-hooked, of course, and I brought her tail up to within reach to execute my landing plan. I have watched Rhyno's video, which was helpful, but I had come up with a little different wrinkle of my own.
My plan was first to make very sure the shark was exhausted before going any further. I loosened the drag a bit, and carefully grabbed the tail where the Rapala couldn't get me, after making sure the shark was still well-hooked. The second I grabbed it, that bad girl blasted off at warp nine. No sweat, I expected that and just sat back and tightened up the drag a bit while letting her run.
Next time up she was calmer. I grabbed the tail and set the rod in my flush mount with the drag nice and loose and got out my secret weapon...a rope with a loop. I put the loop end over the tail forward of the fat point where it joins the body, put the bitter end through the loop and had a lassoed shark. The other end went through a biner clipped to the deck with one wrap so that I could hold as much or as little tension as I liked (on belay). In the event she decided to blast off again, I would simply let go and she could run again without tipping me or getting away. She didn't, so I unhooked the Rapala and sat on the end of the line and started paddling back in. After about 10 minutes I figured she was a goner, so I hauled her up on deck and lashed her down.