They may not be big, but they’re scrappy, especially when they are foul hooked.
The crew from Tennessee and Kentucky teamed up to pull in a 90-plus pound blacktip shark on Thursday while fishing aboard the 100 Proof with Capt. Ben O’Connor.
According to the “Sport Fish of the Gulf of Mexico” book, most blacktips are just 5 to 30 pounds and seldom reach 100.
However, the shark the guys hooked up with on Thursday fell into the “seldom” category.
“I fought it for about 45 minutes and then I had to turn it over,” said Jason Bailey, noting the shark was fighting hard and pulling out drag.
“The first hour was all him. I don’t know how we did it,” said Tom Whippel.
Not only was the shark pulling drag on the guys, but it was foul hooked on light tackle.
Capt. O’Connor said they were fishing for king mackerel near the sea buoy when the shark most likely ate one of their kings.
“When he did that, the hooks pulled out of the king and snagged him by his anal fin. That’s why it took two hours to reel him in,” O’Connor said.
The Sport Fish book also labels the blacktip as “pound for pound, probably the scrappiest of the sharks.”
Add in being foul hooked, and you’ve got a fight.
In addition to the shark, the guys also pulled in a couple of king mackerel, triggerfish and a few mingo.