May 07, 2009
Cermele: Dropping The Hammer (Again)
By Joe Cermele
In May of 2006, I got lucky. I happened to be on a boat in Florida's Boca Grande Pass tarpon fishing when my guide got a call that a local captain and friend of his had just sunk the first gaff in a hammerhead shark that all onboard believed was a world record. The beast was hooked in the Pass, but had dragged the boat 12 miles out into the Gulf. I was one of only two people to get photos of the fish on the water. This shot is one of them.
Sure enough, Captain Bucky Dennis, a self-proclaimed record chaser, had indeed bested a world record. The hammerhead tipped the scales at 1,280 pounds. News stations, magazines, and the Internet buzzed with excitement...until it was learned that a lot of the weight came from the 55 pups in the shark's belly. So lo and behold, who do I see on the news this morning but Captain Bucky Dennis, standing by a crane and hoisting yet another giant hammerhead. By the look of the gut, she's loaded with pups, too.
Now, Bucky isn't a bad guy, and I enjoy shark fishing very much myself, but this shark is not a new all-tackle world record, and hammerheads are not food fish. On top of all that, there are so many in the Pass during tarpon season, it's not a particular challenge to hook them. It's just that no one but Bucky seems interested in bothering. I gave him props the first time around, but now I just need to say, "dude...stop it already! What's the point?" What say you?