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Old 04-11-2015, 09:09   #1
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Sharks and other scary stuff

My brother sent me a YouTube video of a deep sea fisherman that caught a large marlin. The fisherman is battling the big fish with waves banging off the back of the fishing boat as the captain has it in reverse. As the battle continues and the big fish gets closed to the boat all of the sudden there is additional splashing and low and behold the fisherman reels in just the head.

Then I see YouTube videos of people in the water hanging into a rope being dragged thru the water behind the boat. One guy makes his own water foil so he can control up and down.

So...I have to ask. Is it a good idea to troll with people? Seems there is a small risk as you become part of the good chain everytime you get into the water.

How big of an issue are sharks?

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Old 04-11-2015, 09:23   #2
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Re: Sharks and other scary stuff

It's just hard to say. One thing for sure, they are out there and Shark and Barracuda take many fish while they are being reeled in.... would they do so with a large man? less likely I think but anything is possible. I've never seen that with Marlin, as they are big dangerous fish.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:58   #3
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Re: Sharks and other scary stuff

In Bermuda we actually call it 'shark baiting' when you hold onto a rope and drag behind a boat. I've never known anyone to do it in areas where big sharks are common though and i would feel very, very exposed doing it myself.

A couple of years ago i had the pleasure of going out with some friends who were filming a documentary ('Ocean Vet' - look out for it soon!). We basically went out to a well-known fishing bank, chucked a load of dead stuff and blood into the water over several hours and waiting for them to turn up. It was pretty surreal; normally if i were out swimming off a boat and a shark turned up there would be a general rapid migration of people out of the water and back into the the boat. This was the exact opposite - 'Hey there's a Tiger!' At which point we all jumped eagerly into the water amidst all the dead fish and blood (armed with a broomstick) and swam around with them. They were completely non-threatening provided you were looking at them. At one point i was freediving about 30 feet under the surface following a smallish tiger that was disappearing into the depths. It took off ahead of me and i lost sight of it. When i got back to the surface my friend on the boat immediately called 'Look behind you!'. I turned around and there was a much bigger tiger about 10 feet away and closing slowly. As soon as i turned to face it and it could see it had been clocked it lazily swam away. In that environment they were not threatening at all. However, i would not have liked to have been out there without a boat to retreat to, and i certainly wouldn't have wanted to be dragging behind a boat. I think then it would only have been a matter of time before one of them came in for a closer inspection and decided to have a taste.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:59   #4
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Re: Sharks and other scary stuff

Oh, and there's some amazing footage that i've seen which may or may not be made available to the public at some point of a tiger shark attacking another tiger shark, killing it and then attempting to swallow it whole! (It doesn't manage it............)
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:46   #5
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Re: Sharks and other scary stuff

As I re-read my post I see that is says 'good chain' when it should have said 'food chain'...ugh

I just thought a person dragging behind the boat was not a very good idea. Looks fun though.

Some of the newer sailboats have really nice swim platforms and ladder. Looks like if you can get to it you can get out of the water very easy and fast...fast enough??humm.

Just kinda wondering if my thought of swimming from the boat is an ok idea or not.




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Old 04-11-2015, 11:15   #6
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Re: Sharks and other scary stuff

An interesting question.

Sharks, in addition to being attracted to blood in water, are attracted to vibrations in the water, caused by splashes and fish in distress.

While being pulled behind a boat, or dragged by a line behind a boat may be fun for a while, I think the possible negative consequences would outweigh the fun for me. Everyone has different levels of risk tolerance. While I have bungee jumped, skydived, and even swam while becalmed in mid Pacific, I would not want to be trolled like bait behind any boat.

Also, I see a big difference between "swimming with sharks" versus being dragged through the water like bait.

I suppose those shark week videos sticks with me, the ones where they drag a rubber mock seal behind the boats to attract a shark attack at the surface.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:31   #7
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Re: Sharks and other scary stuff

Hanging off the back of a boat exposes people to much more danger from carbon monoxide, being slammed against the boat, or prop strikes, than from sharks.

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Old 04-11-2015, 11:39   #8
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Re: Sharks and other scary stuff

Many years ago when I first started diving, I was really worried about sharks.
Jaws had just came out and that movie really ruined me, we used to go out 20 or 30 miles fishing and if it got hot, would go swimming. Well, no more swimming after that movie, not for years, still gives me the willys, and how many years has it been?.
Anyway supposedly back then of all the survivors of a shark attack, not one ever saw the shark prior to being attacked. Apparently they were ambushed, not stalked like in the movies.
I used to spearfish quite a lot on Scuba, and often saw sharks, usually Bulls and sand sharks, but Bulls in particular have a reputation for attacks, but never got attacked, but you could often see them right at the edge of visibility, they would hang out right where you couldn't quite see them.
Only real run in I ever had with a shark was with a big Hammer, about 6 or 7 ft., and Hammers are not supposedly man eaters. Only thing that saved him was I couldn't get the power head on my gun in time, he came in at me at least three times, and twice I sank the "kill spike" into him, and it didn't seem to really bother him all that much. Coming up the anchor line was really un-nerving especially as I had a 5 min or so deco obligation.
He had been hanging around for the first part of the dive but seemed to have left, I had sent the family up the line as I always sent them up first and about 5 min later would untie from the "wreck". So after I had sent them up this big red snapper came back to the wreck begging to be shot, so I obliged, he dove off the side of the boat and this hammer came right over my head from behind going for the snapper and I though I'm going to lose my fish to him, but he turned and came at me several times. I assume he thought I was the source of the fish dieing vibrations / noise?
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:50   #9
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Re: Sharks and other scary stuff

One thing most people don't realize is that every shark within a huge radius of you already knows you're in the water. Do some research on them. Here's a start:
A Shark's Sixth Sense

yet, they don't come over and eat you. Because they know you're not a fish. Don't act like a fish and you should be okay. Those bozos on Shark Week are the television equivalent of today's "news" casters. Don't believe a word they tell you. They bait those fish into a frenzy so they can get that footage. Sharks are just big fish. Nothing more.

Most of them avoid injury if they can, because a bleeding injury to them could be fatal to them. Because they ARE fish. And the other sharks know it.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:59   #10
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Re: Sharks and other scary stuff

Sharks and blood are a little interesting, back when I used to fish a lot we would occasionally catch a shark. I learned if you cut one open to where it's guts spill out and throw it in the water, it will eat it's own guts until it dies.
My Father had a trick, if you bent it's nose up with a big pair of pliers and turned it loose, it couldn't submerge, it would swim away right at the surface, small sharks, couple of feet. Learned the hard way not to bring a big one in the boat. Big ones, just cut the leader and let them go.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:13   #11
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Re: Sharks and other scary stuff

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Sharks and blood are a little interesting, back when I used to fish a lot we would occasionally catch a shark. I learned if you cut one open to where it's guts spill out and throw it in the water, it will eat it's own guts until it dies.
My Father had a trick, if you bent it's nose up with a big pair of pliers and turned it loose, it couldn't submerge, it would swim away right at the surface, small sharks, couple of feet. Learned the hard way not to bring a big one in the boat. Big ones, just cut the leader and let them go.
Wow, nice torture stories.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:18   #12
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Re: Sharks and other scary stuff

Sharks have been demonstrated to be repelled by lemon-scented Joy dish detergent (I kid you not, IIRC by Dr. Silvia Earle years ago) and more recently by strong magnetic fields from these handy neodymium magnets.


So...


Meanwhile you say "Shark!" I say "Grenade!". There's no argument that is conservation, just a question of which species you're trying to conserve.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:31   #13
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Re: Sharks and other scary stuff

for those interested:
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:34   #14
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Re: Sharks and other scary stuff

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Originally Posted by SailBender View Post
Wow, nice torture stories.
Point of it was these things do not seem to react to pain, and seem to be driven by pure instinct. Don't think your going to hit it on the nose and it will stop eating you, geez it eats its self.
They are fish, whatever that means, and when you reel in a fish and gut it alive, I guess that is torture, but I don't what else to say. Used to catch bait fish and cut the tail off for bait to catch bigger fish, I guess fishing is brutal.
You ought to see how to clean crab, take it out of the trap, rip all it's appendages off, then bust it in half by separating the top and bottom shell, the bottom part is where the meat is, throw away the top half and briskly swish the bottom half to remove the remaining guts and toss it in the bucket and grab another, takes only a few seconds.

But maybe throwing them alive into a pot of boiling water is more humane?
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:36   #15
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Re: Sharks and other scary stuff

tuffr2,

Seems to me it's a question of a balance that works for you. Some sharks are not much issue at all; others, are.

If there are groups of them, we get out of the water. If we feel weird, we get out. We swim midday, and the rare night dive, but avoid the early morning and the late afternoon/early evening. Don't swim with tiger sharks, great whites, bull sharks or hammerheads. Black tip reef sharks will bite your ankles in the shallows, but swim away fast if you swim towards them.

So, learn about them, and pick your time to swim with them according to the increase in your knowledge and risk tolerance.

Sharks aren't the only danger out there for humans: consider bears, wolves, lions, tigers, crocodiles, and large pythons. Consider drive by shootings, and freeway accidents. And don't forget irukandji and box jellies. Learn about what you're going to face, and prepare accordingly.

And I agree, it's Darwin Award time to allow yourself to be trolled.

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