Fisherman catch sharks in shallow SW Florida waters
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
MARCO ISLAND, Fla.- On a Saturday morning, Captain John Brossard and I wake up with the sun.
Captain John takes me on board "Shark Chaser." Fishing has been a hobby he has chased for more than 25 years.
"The first time I watched Jaws, I obviously was afraid to go in the water at night," said Captain Brossard.
From fear grew fascination and now John is glued to the Gulf. He spends his weekends in shark territory.
Patience pays off, a bull shark takes the bait
"He's looking at you. I was not expecting that here, that's for sure," said Brossard.
We hook a shark that is quite the fighter. Bull sharks tend to swim where we swim, the shallow waters. We caught the bull shark in just 4 feet of water off Marco Island.
"See the mud, so shallow here. He's hitting the bottom," said Brossard.
Bull sharks take a top spot on the list of shark species known to attack. So what are the odds they will attack you? According to National Geographic, you're more likely to die from a lightening strike or alligator attack.
At the next spot with Cape Romano in sight, we catch a nurse shark. For the most part, they are harmless to humans unless provoked.
"They are like big bottom feeders, like a big cat fish. They stay around the bottom and just cruise around," said Brossard.
While I am impressed with our catches, shark fishing at night earned John his bragging rights. Video shows a 9 foot lemon shark he caught right from shore.
"Biggest one I caught was right off the beach, but it was in the evening," said Brossard.
Another video shows a fisherman wrestling with a hammerhead before releasing it. The video is taken at a Sanibel beach.
Sharks are most active at night and that is why swimmers are warned to stay out of the water during dawn, dusk and night. Patrick O'Donnell, an environmental specialist with Rookery Bay Reserve studies these predations mainly the juvenile sharks in the estuaries.
'it's easier for them to target their prey when their prey can't see them," said O'Donnell
Captain John says there is a thrill to catching what you can't see and that keeps him hooked and headed for the horizon.