Rope the Shark’s Tail: BioVlog 184 of 384

We are off on another shark hunting expedition. I’m racing Randy Dick’s 17-foot Boston Whaler into Mexican waters about fifteen miles southwest of the San Diego coast. 

I am manning the poles when my real starts spinning like a whizzing top. I yell excitedly, “Got one!” 

Because of their tough skin, one of the hardest things is gaffing a shark so that we can shoot it with a shotgun. It is very tricky. I impulsively say, “Let’s see what happens if we don’t gaff it but simply blast a hole in it.”

As I am holding on to the rapidly whipping line with gloved hands, Randy pulls the trigger, and the shark blows in half and breaks free from the hook, gushing blood as it sinks out of sight. 

During the commotion, a seven-foot shark begins chewing on a string of red snapper heads tied to a rope and hanging off the stern. Gaffer grabs his hooking tool and gaffs the big shark by its head and shouts excitedly, “Got him!”

Randy quickly grabs his 18-inch-barrelled shotgun. He wants to be safe and stay clear of Gaffer and fires low, toward the mid-section of the shark. The one-ounce slug blows a hole through the belly of the beast, it stuns the wiggling mouth of teeth but it is still alive and I think the slug only pissed-off the tail flapping behemoth. 

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