Monday, May 13, 2013

Last night was full of excitement as we finally got out on the water to fish!  Jeremy and I had two cameras ready to deploy and headed out onto the (relatively) flat water ready to track a bull shark through the night!   Being out on the water at night is always exhilarating, but this was truly spectacular!

The first 50 hooks passed with no sharks and so did the first half of the second longline set.  We headed off to test the range of the VHF transmitter on the camera we were hoping to deploy and managed to get at least 5km.  That makes me feel a bit better that we will actually get the systems back!!  While we were doing the test we got a call that we had a tiger shark.

The sharks here are big.  The bull sharks in this part of the world grow a meter (more than three feet) longer than those off the coast of Florida.  The tiger sharks they catch are big too – the one we had was almost 3.9m!  That is around 13’!     Because we are focusing on bull sharks (at least for now) we tagged the tiger and let it go, hoping that we would catch a bull shark later in the night.

We didn’t have any luck, though, except for a guitarfish (which I was excited to see).  With no bull sharks, the fisherman working with us headed back to port to resupply and rest.  We head back out to try again before dawn tomorrow! 
This is a guitarfish similar to the one we caught last night.  In this picture Derek Burkholder and I are getting ready to tag this animal caught in Shark Bay, Australia.  Guitarfish are a type of ray.

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