Sharks

Here is the forum about fishing at Navarre Beach, Santa Rosa Sound, East River, Yellow River, and the Blackwater River. This is where you can read and discuss David's Fishing Reports. You can discuss information about tackle, bait, tides, and tournaments. You can post you’re fishing and boating photos here.
greendrake
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Tue May 19, 2009 4:15 pm

Not to sound like the biggest hillbilly to ever hit Navarre but are sharks a safety issue while swimming/fishing? I understand wade fishing at night may have risk. I read the posts about the shark fishing and I must say I am curious if there are ever shark problems.
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David
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Tue May 19, 2009 4:53 pm

Not something to worry about. Just know that they are around and, as you said, avoid wading late and early light and at night though I sometimes do and know of no local incidences other than one at Ft. Pickens a few years ago that could probably have been avoided.
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beachgirl
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Wed May 20, 2009 9:45 am

Don't wear shiney objects in the water. Don't swim at dawn or dusk.

If you do see one, they are looking for fish. They think people taste bad, that is why they spit them out if they accidently get a bite of one.
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PensacolaKid
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Wed May 27, 2009 12:54 pm

Greendrake,

As I stated over in the Record Mako Shark Thread....sharks get far too bad of a rap, still today, 33 years after JAWS came out. The, ABSOLUTES (no dawn/dusk swimming, no deep water playing, no blood in the water and perhaps avoid the shiny jewelry) have been stated.

There have been 3 very serious shark attacks in the Panhandle over the last 4-5 years. Not that the victim deserved it, as they certainly did not, but in every instance, the one who was attacked was doing the exact wrong thing! This would include Jesse Arbogast's (sp) story, which was provided via his uncle and very hard to fathom.

All were either swimming where they should not be (girl in Destin), had bait in their pants (the kid in the Panama City area) and Jesse, who got too close to one that had already been hooked and somewhat landed by his uncle. Although his uncle said he was attacked and then he went in and wrestled with the 8-9 foot Bull Shark. Very hard to believe! By the way, in every case, it was a Bull Shark. Bulls are probably the most aggressive in the Gulf of Mexico and are responsible for the most attacks/bites and this is due to a variety of reasons, high testosterrone levels unseen in other sharks for one reason.

Very very rarely does a shark, at least in the Gulf beach areas, attack without a reason. One has very little, if anything to fear with sharks. I would be far more concerned with stepping on a stingray than being bitten by a shark and even that is of relatively little concern out in the Gulf. The Sound may be another issue.
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mfhurst
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Wed May 27, 2009 1:49 pm

I don't ever think about stingrays when I at the beach, but I guess they are there. My kids have said that they saw a stingray and I always just blow them off... I think of them in more tropical places. I will be on the look out this summer hope to spy one.

Don't laught, but I am actually more scared of the crabs than the sharks. I was floating on a raft one time and had a crab pinch the crap out of my toe. I guess with it dangling off the raft it look like supper. I thought he had totally cut it off, it hurt so bad and bleed like the devil...
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PensacolaKid
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Wed May 27, 2009 3:25 pm

Yes sir...those darn blue crabs can give ya pinch for sure! As for the rays out around the beach....during the height of the day with people in and out of the water and making a bunch of noise and vibration, not too likely to see or be hit by one right at the beach. Early in the morning, late in the afternoon and especially over around the sound beaches and especially at night with a flashlight...you can see some monster stingrays. When you see what looks like a moon crater, that is a stingray bed. Sometimes they are in them and sometimes they are not but shuffle your feet back there at night. Now during the height of the day, you can absolutely see cow rays and even manta rays just cruising or even jumping out of the water. Very cool!
ToesInTheSand
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Wed May 27, 2009 5:14 pm

pensacolakid wrote:Greendrake,


There have been 3 very serious shark attacks in the Panhandle over the last 4-5 years. Not that the victim deserved it, as they certainly did not, but in every instance, the one who was attacked was doing the exact wrong thing! This would include Jesse Arbogast's (sp) story, which was provided via his uncle and very hard to fathom.
Actually Pkid, the Jesse story about his Uncle fishing was completely false, an internet rumor started right after the attack that took wings.
NONE of the family even consented to any interviews, even after being swarmed with reporters AT Sacred Heart immediately following the attack. They finally consented to the 1st interview in the last 2 weeks. Google it, unless you want me to take the time to search and post the links.

They WERE swimming too close to dusk/sunset, prime feeding time. But there was NO fishing/chumming, etc. going on.
ToesInTheSand
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Wed May 27, 2009 5:16 pm

PS: I also happen to know this as FACT as Jesse's plastic surgeon was my plastic surgeon. I had to re-schedule my surgery (gladly) due to his time spent with Jesse.

This Dr. recently passed away of a heart attack, he was truly talented.
And had a great heart, and also kept in touch with the family.
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PensacolaKid
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Thu May 28, 2009 9:08 am

Well, his story was not just reported on the internet. That story about his uncle going in and wrestling with a 3-400 lb. Bull Shark was also on every TV station. I even watched Diane Sawyer talk about it. Now I fully realize who and what the news is and was even 4-5 years ago. However, let us say what you say is true....they still were in a situation that put them at very high risk.

The chances of anyone on the Gulf of Mexico, gettting attacked at the beach during the prime gathering times is so remote that it almost can not be considered. Far better chance of getting hit by lightening.
ToesInTheSand
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Thu May 28, 2009 9:36 am

Shame on me for assuming you were referring to the CHUMMING and FISHING........which was a complete fabrication from so-called "witnesses" of the attack.
It was the story of the Uncle fishing that took wings, with the children being nearby in the water. If you were NOT referring to that, I apologize.
Just swimming at/near sunset was their mistake. As many people do w/o realizing that is prime feeding time.
I saw a woman at the beach recently wearing a very nice "designer-type" one-piece bathing suit adorned with shiny buckles, clips, silver metal "stars" tied to the ends of her halter top ties........and swimming.
BAIT. She shoud save that suit for the pool! :shock:

Bulls are quite common in this particualr area, and what sets them apart is their habit of coming in close to shore. Note that Jesse was attacked only 15' from shore.
They also frequent "brackish" water, fresh water, and that is why I frequently remind people fishing by my house that are standing in the water this time of year, to be on the lookout for them!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_shark
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EastBayBabe
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Thu May 28, 2009 9:42 am

There was a story a week or so ago as an update in PNJ. It's been 8 years since Jesse was attacked. The story tells about how far he has come since that time, and more importantly, how far he has to go. He is wheelchair bound, and due to lack of ozygen to his brain, has mental problems. It's a sad story.
May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.
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PensacolaKid
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Thu May 28, 2009 10:41 am

Anyone on the Gulf of Mexico needs to give Bull Sharks plenty of room and respect. They are far more dangerous than even Tiger Sharks, at least in the Gulf of Mexico.
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David
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Thu May 28, 2009 1:41 pm

Thanks EBB for clarifying the date of the boys attack. It was in 2001, known to the media as the "year of shark attacks".

Just to try to clarify a couple other things:

The girl that lost her life in 2005 was at Marimar Beach just east of Destin, next door to Sandestin. She was one of two Lousiana girls swiming together, some accounts said 100 yds off shore, others 200 yds. Some accounts quoted a surfer as having brought her ashore on his board while fighting off the shark. Other reports were that the 2 girls swam to shore together.

3 days later a teenage boy from Tennessee was attacked while fishing with his brother in 2-4' of water atop a sandbar at Cape San Blas that is almost at Apalachicola, 40 miles east of Panama City and over 90 miles from the girl's attack at Marimar though some reports said a short distance away. Some reports said that the brother fought off the shark with his fist while dragging his brother to shore, others that the victim fought off the shark. Some reports stated that they may have had bait in their pockets but it was reported they fished with shrimp, more likely to have been pocket bait. Shrimp is not the bloody bait preferred by shark and doubtful to have attracted it though small shark might be attracted by a live but struggling one on a hook.

Lots of conflicting stories circulated after the Arbogast attack. I also, find it hard to believe that even an accomplished athlete over 6' tall, as his uncle was, could wrestle a 8' bull to shore from water deep enough for a heathy, uninjured bull to swim in, even with the help of another as the story goes, since that shark has more muscle power per foot than a grown adult has. Stories never stated any injury to the uncle and I do know from personal experience that a shark's hide is like the roughest sandpaper that can take the skin off the tough parts of your palms and do extreme damage to softer arms, legs, chest, etc. if wrestling with it even when dead and being butchered. The bleeding result of a shark nudging or brushing someone, as bulls are known to do to, is thought by some to invoke attacks because of the sharks acute sense and reaction to the smell of blood and it's resulting feeding freenzy, a very good reason not to go in the water with an open sore or bleeding cut. It is proven fact that shark can smell a single drop of blood over a mile away.

Adrenaline highs can cause unbelievable feats of strength, so who knows but the family that witnessed the event itself and not those involved after the fact. The family has a right to weather their handling of a very tough life experience in privacy and with the story they wish to tell.

Toes,

Jesse's surgery was done at Babtist where he was life flighted to, he was moved days later, when stable enough, to Sacred Heart's superb pediatric care unit. The surgeon that did emergency surgery on me 4 years ago, was the one that attached his arm in 12 hours of surgery with the help of 2 others, a bone specialist and a plastic surgeon, good surgeons, all. I'll never forget his name because the first thing I said when introduced was "chicken" that his name reminded me of, he laughed. Never want anyone cutting on me that can't relax enough to joke and laugh, but gets serious when needed, just aint safe.
David
ToesInTheSand
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Thu May 28, 2009 4:03 pm

I thought it was Sacred Heart, but I guess that's where they transferred him. Thanks.
I am almost positive Dr. Rogers' office was at Baptist...had so many surgeries at both places, they all meld together! :)

Also, yes! Their skin is like sandpaper! I had the scary experience (1 of 2) of being too close to a shark. I accidentilly tripped over backwards onto a BULL SHARK at Opal Beach with pup in tow next to her. (years ago) I was walking out towards my Sig-other signaling that he was going out too far on his raft while walking backwards to the shoreline.
I did not see Mama & baby cruising between the sandbars......I fell over her and she turned and snapped at me! I literally scrambled on all fours and made it back on shore FAST....all the while tourists snapping photos of that. Geez.
I had quite the scrape on my leg! But at least it wasn't lunch for her.
beachgirl
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Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:28 pm

seen many sharks yesterday and today.
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