I had the good fortune of going fishing with Capt. Conway Bowman yesterday morning-July 18th, 2005. We launched out of Dana Landing in San Diego, CA USA and fished on a Triton 240LTS. Nice rig. This craft has a flat deck with flush cleats and no railings. It allows you to get up close and personal with the sharks. This boat flies with a 225 HP Merc and we were soon airborne on our way through the swell to the hunting grounds.
[url=http://www.flymaker.com/bbGallery/Outbound-Harbor.jpg:7cb39]Dana Landing outbound[/url:7cb39]
I used personal two rigs: 1) Redington DFR 15 WT, 8'6", 3-pc rod with a Hayden AR Broadbill Wide reel with a 14WT floating line on it. 2) Wade Rods Custom 2 PC 8' 14/15 WT rod with a Hayden DD Broadbill with a 12 Wt. floater. I have 50# Pink Bionic Braid backing on both reels-a lot of it too.
[url=http://www.flymaker.com/bbGallery/Hayden-Reels.jpg:7cb39]Heavy 14/15 WT. Gear[/url:7cb39]
The gear held up well. We caught 3 Makos between 60# and 120#s and one small Blue by mistake.
The flies used were varieties of the Mako Deceiver (recent FOTW) with the addition of one of my Cyclops Popperheads ahead of the fly.
Tube Version of the FOTW Shark Fly
Faruk Ekich suggested that I tie a Tube version of this large 8/0 fly and it performed very well. Thanks Faruk!
All the takes were sight casting to teased fish that came up to the boat's chum line. We used a sack of Albacore dregs as chum and it is very effective chum indeed.
[url=http://www.flymaker.com/bbGallery/Blue-Chum.jpg:7cb39]Blues At The Chum Bucket[/url:7cb39]
We had a pack of blues at our gunnels for over 5 hours. They were constantly trying to eat the flies and we had to carefully single-out the Makos from the Blues when the Makos appeared from time to time.
[url=http://www.flymaker.com/bbGallery/Conway-Hook-Up.jpg:7cb39]Capt. Bowman Battles a Brute[/url:7cb39]
[url=http://www.flymaker.com/bbGallery/Conway-Hook-Up2.jpg:7cb39]Even the 15 Wt Rods strain with a 120# Mako sounding in 50 fathoms[/url:7cb39]
One Mako gave me a hard time: I hooked him three different times before this shark decided to turn up his nose & leave. I just could not get a solid hookset on that one. The angles and dangles are critical and this one always came directly at me on the takes.
Only one of the Makos jumped and it jumped twice. The first jump was at least twice its length high! Just a spectacular gamefish indeed. The larger Mako did not jump. The grab was classic though-it opened its mouth and snapped-up the popper like a rainbow trout gulping a hopper. Nothing quite like a 120# fish rising to a dry fly!
[url=http://www.flymaker.com/bbGallery/Blue-Fly.jpg:7cb39]Releasing a Shark[/url:7cb39]
Conway uses a release gaff and all of the sharks were released in good shape. None of the fights were extended, mostly due to using heavy gear and straight 40# fluoro tippet and SS leader and Conways coaching.
If anyone wants to experience this west coast fishery-Conway Bowman is the guide to go with. He has a system that works.
[url=http://www.flymaker.com/bbGallery/Conway-Bowman-V.jpg:7cb39]Capt. Conway Bowman-Victory at Sea[/url:7cb39]
Remember-this is "Shark Week" on Discovery Channel.... so back to watching the sharks on the tube while tying tube shark flies
[This message has been edited by flymaker2 (edited 21 July 2005).]