Shark Fishing photo

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I never pass up the chance to work Jaws into a post. After all, it’s my favorite flick and what I consider the finest fishing movie of all time. The film debuted over 30 years ago, so fresh Jaws fodder is not easy to come by these days…until Moonrise Media announced the release of Matt Taylor’s “Jaws: Memories From Martha’s Vineyard.” If you’re a Jaws freak like me that can quote Quint’s every word, you need this book.

The production of Jaws consumed the small island of Martha’s Vineyard for many months, and many island residents were cast in bit parts, used as extras, and hired to do everything from construct sets to run camera boats. What Taylor has done is interview anyone and everyone that had a hand in the movie, collected their snapshots, newspaper clippings, and much more to compile a book on the making of Jaws from the islanders’ perspective. Here are just a few things outdoorsmen might find interesting (none of which I knew before I started reading):

  • Steven Spielberg originally hired local anglers to catch a shark to pose as the “wrong shark” hung on the dock. All they landed were blue sharks and threshers too small to fit the bill, so a giant dead tiger shark was shipped in on ice from Florida.
  • Remember the black Lab, Pipit, that was playing fetch in the water until she disappeared? She was chosen for the part because of her extensive training as a waterfowl retriever.
  • The extra-loud clicker on the Penn reel Quint uses was specially tweaked by original owner Lynn Murphy, who wanted a reel that would tick loudly from even the slightest bump of the bait while swordfishing.

I could go on forever here, but with 296 pages and over 1,000 color and black-and-white photos, you’ll spend hours picking through beautifully written stories, quotes, and captions for behind-the-scenes tidbits you won’t learn anywhere else. The book will be available June 20th, and and can be purchased online here for $60…worth every penny in my opinion. Check out the book’s official website for more photos and info.