Friday, August 9, 2013

Shark Week in Chesapeake Bay

Charles Woodland, 71, an eighth-generation waterman who said he’s been a commercial waterman for about 60 years, caught a bull shark on Monday, Aug. 5, in Fishing Bay off the coast of southern Dorchester County in a waterman’s pound net. Woodland did not need a bigger boat to catch the shark, which weighed in at 291 pounds and was more than 6 feet long.

Woodland, of Crocheron, said it wasn’t his first shark. “We catch four or five some years. I caught six one year,” he said.

Carrie Kennedy, the Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Fisheries Program manager, said the event is not uncommon in the Chesapeake Bay. “It falls within their range of habitat and their salinity preferences, and just generally where they live,” Kennedy said. “It’s common during the summer to see them typically as far north as the Patuxent River, but sharks, like any other fish, don’t have a line that says, ‘Oh, that’s it. We can’t go north of this spot.’”
I've never run into a shark in the bay, but it's certainly a possibility.  It would be pretty hard to land a big shark on the light tackle that I typically use, but I'd like to give it a try.

Although Bull Sharks are potentially a mna-eater, there are so few people swimming in the Bay in summer because of the Sea Nettles, it seems unlikely that we'll see it this summer.  Now, if they ate Sea Nettles...

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