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Fight tooth and nail hooking sharks near LI shores

While there’s little doubt there are plenty of sharks to be found in their traditional haunts 20 to 30 miles offshore, this year’s most interesting toothsome news has occasionally come from closer to the beach. In some cases, very close. Consider the 140-pound class thresher caught last Friday aboard the Center Moriches charter vessel King Cod.

“We were fluke fishing in about 60 feet of water near the Moriches Artificial Reef when a thresher shark simply exploded out of the water while chasing chub mackerel,” said Paul Cabrera, 57, of Stony Brook. “A few minutes later, it grabbed a fluke rig and was off to the races.”

Rather than simply cut the line, mate Raymond John stepped in to see if he could subdue the beast. Somehow, over a 25-minute battle that saw Cabrera end up holding the rod during the gaffing process – and the open boat Rosie pass across a flying gaff – the 20-pound-test monofilament leader managed to hold up. The end result was tasty thresher steaks for all on board.

Then there’s the big brown shark local fishing guru and videographer John Skinner caught last Sunday – a 7- to 8-footer hooked after dark from the rocky shore of Long Island Sound at Horton’s Point!

“I rarely fish bait,” recounted Skinner, who has Go-Pro footage of the battle on his John Skinner Fishing You-Tube Channel ( “For this trip, though, I was using bunker chunks in the hopes of catching a few bluefish for a friend to smoke. When I set the hook the line just started peeling away. Almost instantly I realized it had to be a shark.”

Actually, it’s not overly surprising that Skinner hooked a shark in the waters of eastern Long Island Sound since several have been photographed, videotaped or reported by beachgoers in recent weeks. What’s truly amazing is he managed to guide the huge fish between all the boulders during the 20-minute battle.  

“Three separate times that fish that fish managed to rub my line against big rocks,” explained Skinner. “Each time I had to give a little slack until it changed direction.  I can’t believe that line [Spiderwire Stealth] never parted.”

For as much fun as it was reeling in the big one, Skinner revealed it was an even greater thrill to watch it swim away.

“You don’t often catch a fish like that from shore in these waters,” he said. “A passerby took a photo for me and then I cut the line and pointed it back out to sea. Seeing that fish swim off is what really made my night.”

Striped Bass Draft Addendum VI public hearings

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has released Atlantic Striped Bass Draft Addendum VI (PDF) for public comment. On Long Island, a public hearing will be held to announce the details of the addendum and gather public input on Sept. 4, 6:00 p.m., at the Ballroom (Golf Course Observatory) at Bethpage State Park Clubhouse, 99 Quaker Meetinghouse Road in Farmingdale.

The public is encouraged to review the draft addendum and submit written comments by Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. Email: (subject: Striped Bass Draft Addendum VI); phone: 703-842-0740; snail mail: Max Appelman, FMP Coordinator, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, 1050 North Highland Street, Suite 200A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; Fax: 703-842-0741.



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