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September 5, 2013

Outdoors: Blue shark sightings while deep-sea ground fishing

The first shark attack came at about 11:00 am.

Matt was standing at the starboard stern reeling in a very nice haddock. He had him just to the surface when a huge dark blue shape swirled beneath the surface and simply swam away with the hooked fish. The rod bent in two and the braided line went screaming off the reel.

You should have seen Matt’s face. His jaw dropped, his eyes bugged out and not a sound emanated from his throat. He just stared...for about three seconds.

“OH MY GOD!” he whispered loudly rather than shouted. “Did you see that?”

As everyone turned to follow the action, the rod went limp and all of the tension on the line disappeared. Matt quickly reeled in his fish only to find the back half of it had disappeared. All that was left was a huge semi-circle with jagged edges.

Capt. Mike Parisi, first mate Buddy Genereau and myself were hosting five young men from Syracuse, New York who had chartered the Anna Marie for a day-long ground fishing expedition. We had steamed out of Gloucester at 7 a.m. on a smooth sea under a gray sky. For some of them it was their first time on the ocean and their anticipation was high. The big 450 horsepower Volvo diesel shoved the 35 ft. Duffy through the dark blue water with comfortable ease.

The sky to the south had been threatening all the way out and as we set the anchor on Straw Hat, the rain started to come down in ernest. But that soon blew away and the sky, although not clearing, settled in on a hazy gray that was actually quite pleasant.

We set the boys up with 6/0 shrimp pink rigs made by Sea Wolfe out of Londonderry, N.H. We slipped on big gobs of clams to the hooks. Using 20 oz. sinkers and braided line attached to Penn 113 H reels, we had them drop to the bottom some 230 feet below. We showed them how to bounce the outfit along the ocean floor where we knew the fish were located. It was only a matter of minutes before Vito hauled the first haddock of the day up from the bottom.

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