Feeding frenzy — San Antonio angler casts into school of sharks, pulls out 200-pound monster

Richard Reed often travels from his home in San Antonio and heads to Port Aransas for some offshore fishing — usually with the folks from Dolphin Docks for 8-hour trips in search of nearshore species.

But Reed wasn’t expecting a 200-pound spinner shark on the other end of this line when the headboat pulled behind a shrimp boat tossing bycatch over the side.

“We left about 8 a.m. and I rigged up a rod with an 8-foot, heavy steel leader,” Reed said. “We pulled up behind the shrimp boat and there were easily 100 sharks circling behind the boat. The deckhand grabbed me and said come to the front.”

Once at the front of the boat, Reed put a bonita head on his hook and threw into the frenzy.

“A big shark came up and as I was about to set the hook, he missed it,” Reed said. “A couple of smaller sharks came up, but they were under 6 feet, so we pulled (the bait) away from them. Then, another big shark came up and took it — I got a good hookset on him and started the fight.”

The battle lasted almost 30 minutes, and got interesting when Reed broke a strap on his harness.

“It got a little dicey,” he said. “It was a lot of fun.”

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Once in the boat, the angler didn’t expect the shark to be so big. The current all-tackle world-record spinner shark is 208.9 pounds and was also caught off of Port Aransas by Raymond F. Ireton on Dec. 13, 2009. Although, according to TPWD, a 212.6-pound spinner caught in 2000 by Howell Kines in the Gulf is the current state record.

Reed’s fish barely missed the mark.

“I didn’t expect him to be so big, but he pulled the scales to 199.6 pounds,” Reed said. “This one just missed (the world record). I’ve caught some of these before — they are basically like a bigger blacktip.”

Reed said he makes five or six offshore trips a year — most of them with Dolphin Docks.

“Those guys really take pretty good care of me,” he said. “I also do a lot of bay and surf fishing.”

Reed said he and friends are having a big “shark fry”  to celebrate and enjoy the bounty.

“We are definitely putting it to good use,” he added.

(This story appeared in the Oct. 24 issue of Lone Star Outdoor News)

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