San Diego Union Tribune Saturday, July 10, 1999
SHARK NO MATCH FOR FISHERMAN IN KAYAK
By Ed Zieralski
They have become as unique
to San Diego as Over-The-Line and Black's Beach - namely, the alternative fishing
styles of our kayakers and surfboard fishermen.
It used to be unusual to see an angler fishing from a kayak or surfboard, but
both sports have become part of the local fabric.
Last year, La Jolla waterman Scot Cherry landed two giant thresher sharks weighting
more than 100 pounds from his surfboard off La Jolla. And kayaker Mike Cliburn
of Encinitas, along with guide Jim Sammons caught a 73.8-pound thresher from a
kayak (with an assist from a passing boat).
This time, Sammons went out solo yesterday and landed an 87-pound thresher shark
from his kayak.
He was fishing only a couple of hundred yards in front of Scripps Pier when the
longtail struck a live mackerel that Sammons trolled behind his kayak.
Last year, Sammons hooked a marlin and was dragged eight miles out before the
fish broke off.
"This fight was only 1-1/2 hours, but it was actually tougher than the marlin
fight because it sounded and I fought it mostly up and down," Sammons said. "The
marlin mostly took me straight out."
Sammons made bait by catching mackerel near Scripps Pier and then noticed a thresher's
tail lift out on the open ocean. He had only a 20-pound Ande Line on his Shimano
TLD 20/40 star drag reel, so he added some 80-pound monofilament as leader and
hooked up a big mackerel for trolling.
It took awhile, but the thresher finally became interested. Sammons turned around
just in time to see the thresher, as is its wont, smack the mackerel the first
time with its tail. It hit a second time and then ate it.
"As soon as I put the reel in gear, it went ballistic," Sammons said. "It skipped
across the top of the water and did a few jumps."
Unlike the long, straight-out pull by the marlin last year, this battle covered
only about a mile.
"It was dragging me around in circles," he said. "I was just sitting and holding
Sammons said the thresher was played out by the time he gaffed it, and he finished
it with a knife.
"I'll keep one big fish a year like this and let all the rest go," he said.
For information on kayak fishing, call Sammons at (619)461-7172