Posted on June 2nd, 2018
It was another foggy one on the beach today, but out a little ways out in the ocean it was absolutely beautiful. I was shark fishing off the beach and I did hear that the sun poked through for a while today, but where I was it was beautifully sunny and slick, flat calm.
There was some excitement for day two in the 22nd Annual Mako Mania Shark Tournament today when angler Nick Skidmore and the crew of Fishful Thinking pulled up to the gas dock at Bahia Marina with an absolutely massive thresher shark. The guys were fishing out of a boat of only 25′ and the shark ran down the entire side. The fish was so big that the guys had to drag it boatside all the way back to Bahia from offshore and then float the fish to the boat ramp where it was loaded on to a cart and wheeled to the scale by the highly capable Fish Tales / Bahia Marina staff.
I knew this was a big thresher when I first saw it, but I had no idea how big. When the big fish was hoisted on to the official Mako Mania scale it weighed in at a whopping 644.9 pounds and actually bested the previous Maryland state record for thresher by over 2 pounds. Here’s the unfortunate part….IGFA International Angling Rules state that the following rule will disqualify a catch: Rule 5. “Shooting, harpooning, or lancing any fish (including sharks and halibuts) at any stage of the catch.” and Maryland Department of Natural Resources do not allow fish that have been “snagged, shot, gaffed, speared scaled or mutilated” to be eligible for the Maryland Angler Award. MD DNR does make exceptions for the establishment of a new state record, but I imagine they will comply with IFGA rules in this case. MD DNR is doing their due diligence and sending the photos and info to the Annapolis office so we’ll know more next week.
This is still an incredible catch and I told the crew that I would have done the same thing in that situation. Mako Mania allows sharks to be shot as part of the landing process and I think it’s safer for the crew and also more humane to dispatch the animal quickly. Congratulations to Nick and the crew of Fishful Thinking! Big thanks to Dave Messick of Hooked on OC for the pics!!
Here are the rest of the current standings for the Mako Mania after day 2.
Sea Ment 6 mako releases
Portabello 3 mako releases
Absolut Pleasure 2 mako releases (1:48 PM)
1st and 2nd place
Teaser 2.2 Pounds
Fishful Thinking Angler Brandon Miller 183.3 Pounds
Sea Meant Angler Ed Ream 355.2 Pounds
Fishful Thinking Angler Nick Skidmore 644.9 Pounds
FOMO Angler Steve Randazzo 200.9 Pounds
Away from the tournament Captain Chris Watkowski worked double duty today as Captain and mate and was still able to put Sean Feeley from Wilmington, DE on this nice 45″ bluefin tuna at the Hot Dog.
I saw the biggest sea bass I’ve seen in the past several years today in a text from Captain Victor Bunting on board the Ocean Princess ocean going party boat. Captain Victor reported that this angler was fishing with the Victor Serebruany group when he landed this huge 5 pound 7 ounce sea bass on a 12 hour trip. The group also caught their limit on the trip.
Captain Monty Hawkins of the party boat Morning Star has been seeing some good sea bassing lately as well. Today Angie and Jeff Stump of York, PA had a great day. Here they are showing off a couple of their big ones while the mates handle fish cleaning duties.
The Tortuga with Captain Drew Zerbe has been having some good luck with flounder in the bay the past few days. Captain Drew and mate Serge Gardner have been putting clients on some good action with plenty of keeper fish going in the box.
Captain Marc Spagnola of Dusk to Dawn Bowfishing took a quick fun trip to the route 50 bridge last night where he and his daughter caught and released over 20 rockfish on Roy Rigs and some hickory shad on spec rigs. Today it was a bowfishing trip where he put a shooter on some nice cow nosed ray action.