Date: June 24th, 2015
Time: 6 am
Wind: 10 kts NW
Location: Southeast of Shinnecock Inlet
Fish: 6 blue sharks/ 1 mako
Largest:: / 71"
I fished the Wally Oakland Memorial Tournament. This is the tournament that we won the mako division last year. I fished on board the "Gusto IV."
It was a non-eventful day with only 6 blue sharks to show for our efforts. However that was about to change as we were just about to reel in our lines and head home with nothing to weigh in. You need to clear the Shinnecock jetties by 5pm in order to have your fish qualify.
As I'm coming down from the fly bridge to help reel lines in, we get a run off. Tony G. picks up the rod and patiently waits for the shark to make another run. Tony is very aware of the time. We would still need to fight this fish, secure this fish to the boat, and still have to drive back to the dock that is 13 miles away! On top of all of this we have no idea even if it's a weigh-able shark. It needs to be either a mako or thresher over 125lbs. With no time to spare Tony comes tight on the fish. It runs and flips at the surface. We see just enough to know it's a mako! Now we need to get this mako to the boat. I have never seen a crew work so fast. You couldn't have asked for a better rod man then Tony G. While Tony did his thing, John H. was busy maneuvering the boat. Brain, John D. and Joey G. were grabbing gaffs and ropes. As for myself, I was just keeping things clear and staying out of the way. You know the saying "too many cooks in the kitchen?" Before you knew it Brian hit the fish with a flying gaff, and John and Joey had the fish tied to the boat. We still needed to get back to the dock in time. At this point we knew that we didn't have a shot at winning, however, it became more of a never give up mission.
We slide into the inlet with just 5 minutes to spare. On this day the Crew of the Gusto IV held our heads high. Our fish weighed in at 157lbs. We were bested by 200lbs. Of course it would have been nice to win, but we hooked, landed, and made it back to the dock in hour, and that is a huge accomplishment. I look forward to fishing with these guys next year. To Brian and John Hyland - thank you for the invite, and to my buddy Tony - thank you for always looking out for me.