I had a group recently contact me who wanted to do some night shark fishing on Friday the 13th. Given the crazy weather pattern, I was unsure if we would be able to go until the last minute. Luckily for us, the storms moved through around 4 p.m. and the weather cleared up. We all met at the Fort De Soto Boat Ramp around 6:30 p.m. and headed for the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Fishing under this beautiful masterpiece at night is quite the experience. It takes ideal weather and tides to fully take advantage of the structure’s potential. We had a nice, cool breeze—well, for summer in Florida, anyway—and were blessed with a beautiful sunset. We turned the Tampa Bay Rays game on and got the poles in the water and waited. The fishing was a little slow at first; however, we caught a few lady fish, grunts, pinfish, and snapper. The current turned slow and the water became glass calm. My first mate, Ty, said a few words to Davey Jones (Pirates of the Caribbean) and, at about 10:30 p.m., the shark bite was on. It was non-stop sharks for the next two and a half hours, and everyone on the boat caught a least one fish and had at least five on. Before the night was over, we had more than 50 sharks on and landed and released twelve. They ranged from two-and-a-half feet to around four-and-a-half feet. Two of the fish on the line were probably well over 100 pounds, but the lines broke before we were able to see them. The sky was clear and the stars were amazing—the perfect night for a Friday the 13th fishing excursion!
As an avid Rays fan, I feel it’s always a good night when the Rays win, but I don’t discriminate against Yankees and Red Sox fans. In fact, there was one of each on the boat that evening, and if I recall correctly, something was said about one using the other for shark bait, but it was all in good fun!
If anyone would like to do a night shark/snapper charter, please contact me. The perfect tides only happen about two to three times a week, so we will need to plan the trip accordingly. If you are interested, please give me a timeframe, and I’ll let you know the best times to go.
Until the next post…Best Fishes, Captain Adam