All ‘broke up’ over the one that got away

Tina Harbuck
Trey Woods shows off the rod he was using when the tug of a shark broke it nearly in half. The rod used to be a 7-footer. [TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG]

What can turn a 7-foot rod into a 4-footer?

A hungry shark.

Capt. Mike Dates and the Woods family from Jackson, Mississippi, had that happen to them on Wednesday while they were fishing for vermillion snapper, also known as mingo, aboard the First Shot, a 20-foot center console boat.

The family of three had been busy pulling in fish all day, including red snapper, mingo to white snapper.

Trey Woods, who just finished up this semester from the University of Alabama, was pulling in a mingo when all of a sudden a shark came up and latched on.

With the rod bent over, his dad said, “I thought he was hooked on the bottom, but then it pulled back.”

Trey had the shark on for about five minutes, then “ka-pow.”

The 7-foot rod was snapped down to about 4 feet.

Capt. Dates said the shark was still hooked, but he had to break the line off at that point.

“That’s the first time in 17 years of fishing that I’ve had a rod break on the boat,” Dates said.

The rod was a “heavy power rod,” Dates said and should have been able to handle the shark.

Dates estimated that the shark was about 6-to 8-feet long.