It was another beautiful day on the water with pleasant, calm weather – a slight wind made the surface choppy, but we still decided to head for the clearer waters outside the bay. Joe Romeiro and Tim Divoll joined us again for the third trip of the weekend. It was our last chance to try to find the ever-elusive hammerhead for Joe and to provide Tim with some last bit of experience with our team. However, for the first time on the Curt-a-Sea boat, the interns were outnumbered! Only Brendal and myself were there to represent the shark program (I hope you others who couldn’t make it are feeling better). However, both Tim and Joe had become proficient members of the team and helped out a lot! We also had Captain Curt’s friend and mate, Chad, who worked as hard as two people!
The morning started with the drumlines going out and everyone in good spirits despite the previous day’s low catch number. So with everything seemingly in our favor, we prepared ourselves for whatever the waters just outside of Florida Bay had to offer. Thankfully, we did not have to wait as long as the previous day to have a shark on the other end. By the end of our standard sets, we caught four nurse sharks and one Atlantic sharpnose shark! Unfortunately, we still had not caught the great hammerhead Joe had wanted. In an effort to find one, we set out ten more drumlines.
Unfortunately, it just didn’t seem as though a hammerhead was part of the deal for the day. We did catch a few more nurse sharks, but nothing more than that. Although it may not have seemed like an ideal finish to the weekend, we still learn a lot from what we catch – or in this case what we do not. Normally, this time of year we see an increase in the number of large sharks we catch (not including nurse sharks), so you might say that there’s “no reason why we shouldn’t be catching a hammerhead.” But believe it or not, between changes in weather patterns and water quality, there may be several good reasons why we mostly found nurse sharks. This is why we’re out here! Every little bit of data we collect means that we know that much more about the animals with which we are working.
Was it an ideal trip? Maybe not. But with the weather starting to turn warm again, and nice clear water, it certainly was not a bad birthday weekend for yours truly. Watch for our next trips, maybe with the changing weather we might start catching some truly amazing things!
Regards and good sharking,