As a Mississippi girl, sharks were nothing more than a looming memory of the ominous music played before a massive creature attacked some unsuspecting characters dressed in a most unforgettable and somewhat unforgiving wardrobe from the late 70's.
So now I am in beautiful Beaufort and what do I catch while attempting to hook a trout or two.....Mr. Bonnethead himself. Now, please, before anyone fusses about our mistreatment of the wonderful marine life, you should know Mr. Bonnethead is swimming happily in the saltwater estuaries of the lowcountry.
This was my first experience with this type shark. He was quite the fighter...we had no idea what awaited us on the end of our shrimp baited "stopper" (now, let me explain....in Mississippi we refer to the so called cork as a stopper, understandably so because obviously...when the so called cork goes underwater..you STOP what you are doing and catch whatever it is that is interrupting your otherwise peaceful nap:) but out of respect for my new home..I will honor the term "cork".
Sorry..maybe that was too much information. I just wanted to clarify.
Back to the story at hand....So Mr. Bonnethead decides to take off with my shrimp. Tyson would have been proud. This 3.5 foot Jaws Jr. made every minute count. Reed, the other smiling creature in the photo, had warned me that sharks would become somewhat apprehensive when nearing the boat. Now, I prefer to experience things first hand. I did. As I fought this Jaws Jr..I was able to get him within feet of the boat. And sure as he saw me, I saw him, the battle began. It really seemed as though he simply said, one of us has to go..
Thank goodness for sturdy feet, and a strong friend. Otherwise it is quite possible I would be writing this blog from a saltier environment. It was truly remarkable to witness the determination of this creature to NOT be caught.
I am female..I do have a heart. Once he came aboard, I sincerely wanted him free. Of course I wasn't really that excited about unhooking him. That is where my smiling friend comes in to play. He quickly unhooked this phenomenal specimen and returned him to fight another day, What a beautiful thing it was!
Now, not to frighten all of you..but keep in mind, Jaws Jr. was caught in only 4 feet of water in the bend of a small creek. Before you hear the theme song to Jaws...he was more afraid of me (or maybe my friend) than I was of him.
There is a place where man lives peacefully with these fascinating creatures..It is called Beaufort.