Catching Sharks in False Creek - Best Day of Fishing Ever!
I feel the nibble, but years of failure and disappointment make me dismiss it. It’s probably a snag or a sea cucumber. Perhaps its a small crab trying to steal the bait. Surely it can’t be a fish, can it? There it is again; this time the tug is more substantial. The tip of the rod bends toward the water. Something down there is taking the bait! It’s impossible to tamp down my excitement now. I grip the rod firmly and snap it backwards, setting the hook in the fish’s mouth. The fight is on! I can tell right away, this is nothing like the tiny puny fish my son and I have grown accustomed to catching over the years. Adrenaline surges as the creature on the other end of the line yanks, tugs, and pulls this way and that.
“Fish on! Fish on!”
I yell to my son. He instinctively grabs the net and begins scanning the water for the first glimpse of what we are up against. There, only fifteen feet from the boat, it breaks through the surface of the water.
We both yell at the same time.
It’s the Pacific Northwest’s Spiny Dogfish Shark; a beautiful spotted, spirited creature abundant in our waters. It’s tiny as far as sharks go, weighing between two and twenty pounds. But for my son and I, as inexperienced and unsuccessful as we’ve been, it may as well have been a Great White!
The wrestling match between man and nature goes on for several minutes more. At last, we have the exhausted predator beside our boat. Our net is not nearly as big as it needs to be, but it will have to do. Clumsily, we scoop the big catch out of the water, careful to avoid the teeth and the two venomous spines on its back. We take the hook out, snap a couple of pictures and then it’s back in the water for this magnificent beauty. As it splashes off to freedom we give it our customary farewell.
“See you later, buddy”
My son and I laugh and shout and high-five each other. What a rush of excitement! But our celebrations are cut short. My son’s rod bends nearly in half. Something has absolutely crushed his bait.
“Fish on! Fish on!”
he yells. It’s my turn now to man the net. One thing we have since learned about the Spiny Dog Fish Shark is that they like to hunt in packs, hence their name. To our incredible good fortune, my son and I have managed to stumble upon a pack. In under three hours, the cry “fish on! fish on!” is heard eighteen times. We manage to land 13 of these cool creatures, and are forced to retire only after all our bait is gone and our rigging smashed to smitherines by these violent predators.
As we nose our little boat towards home, Darve and I are still shaking with excitement, even a little fatigue with all the shark wrestling thats been going on. This dayis officially our best day of fishing ever