Jersey Surf Sharking Slam – Sandbar, Sand Tiger… What else?!

Once again, the fish gods have bestowed yet another interesting night upon us. On this trip, I took to the sand with good friend Larry O’Brien of @fishlikeachampion. As we were settling into the evening, another friend Mark joined us to see what species of aquatic monsters we could raise this time…

Larry jumped quickly into action by starting the night off with a small Sandbar shark.

Immediately following the release, the evening fell silent… At least for an hour. Before the Madd Mantis doubled over, reel screaming. Something had finally taken the only eel that we had, after I refused to switch it out for another bait. I run over and set the hook, only to have the fish breach the surface, shake it’s head and fight extremely erratically. We deemed it quite strange, but shrugged it off as the last large Sandbar did much of the same. As usual, the Mantis defeated the fish quickly and as it neared the surf zone I could see a distinct pale coloration, that of something quite familiar, followed by Mark yelling, “most of it’s fins have black markings!” At this point is quite obvious that we had a Blacktip on the line! Mark carefully leadered the fish, while Larry was busy snapping photos.

Upon closer inspection, it was indeed a Jersey Blacktip!

Over thousands of hours, and many years logged on the sand, we have only caught two Blacktips in the state. Though they are so common in Florida, it’s always a welcome surprise up here!

Mark was going to leave, but the rare catch motivated him to stay just a little longer… Which happened to be long enough to round out our night and give us a “Jersey Shark Slam” of sorts! He finished it off with a Sand Tiger.

Before this, Larry had pulled the hook on a much larger fish, likely a big Sand Tiger. We had also landed one more small Sandbar and missed quite a few runs.

All in all, the action was certainly not “on fire” , but the fish are there and willing to bite, provided you have the patience to wait them out!

With more stable weather patterns we should expect to see the season continue to improve!

Please note that the calendar is officially open for the season.

See you on the sand,

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