First Shark- A Woman’s Perspective - Ladies Rock & Surf Angling
December 2012, we made our way down to Kenton-On-Sea in the Eastern Cape for a little R&R and of course, plenty fishing. We started off with fishing for small fish, in the rivers and estuaries, which is always a lot of fun. But my main aim for this trip was to land my very first Ragged tooth shark, I had seen many caught and released safely, and decided that it was my turn!
It was a very windy day and we had spent most of it indoors escaping the unpleasant weather, but we decided late afternoon to make our way down to the Kariega River mouth to try our luck at catching whatever sharks were in the river. 1st cast just into the river mouth produced a few bites but mainly from peckers. I baited up again using a chokka/sardine combo, and cast out again, this time a little closer in, and within minutes I had a sharp, hard tug on my line. A good, hard strike later and she was vas. I battled for a good long while to bring her in closer, this was by far the strongest fish I had ever hooked into, and the strength of this fish actually caught me a little off guard as I had no idea what to expect once I had hooked into a shark.
I had my boyfriend, Gareth, coaching me on and just giving me a little bit of encouragement. We were both unsure of what it was that I had hooked and were a little wary going into the water, so we stood just out of the water while I battled keeping hold of the 10ft rod. Many unpleasant words escaped from my mouth, as my arms were burning and I was still battling to bring her in any closer, I was close to handing over the rod to Gareth when he shouted that it was a Raggie I had hooked into. I suddenly got a rush of adrenalin and managed to ignore the burning in my arms. And I pulled and wound and pulled and wound until I managed to pull her over the sand bank, next thing I knew Gareth came out of the water carrying “my” Raggie.
I was a bit over whelmed by the attention we received from the people on the beach and while I ran back to our stuff to grab the cameras, Gareth safely removed the hook and quickly measured her, after a few quick pictures, she was safely returned and swam off strongly.
After this fantastic catch, I realized how different my experience had been, when compared to the many times I had watched Gareth and his friends reel in Raggies that were quite a lot larger than mine. I was absolutely exhausted and had arms that felt like jelly and it was because I am only 5 ft 3 and I definitely don’t have the upper body strength that male anglers do. I do believe that it is very different, and a little more difficult for a female angler to land the bigger fish.
I would definitely do this again, but it would be easier knowing what
to expect.------- Aimee