Rather than spending a calm Saturday afternoon leisurely waiting for fish to take a bite on the line, Florida Tech’s fishing club choose a more thrilling pastime while baiting sharks.
Spending the whole afternoon at Bonsteel Park on Oct. 5, the fishing club held their second annual shark-fishing event.
Two, three-to-four foot sharks were reeled in, while another was hooked but snapped the line.
Based on the sharks’ appearances, the club said they believe they were spinner sharks.
The event was held not only for fun, but also to tag sharks for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“Once we reel them in, we take measurements, find out the breed and tag the sharks,” said Nicholas Tolentino, the fishing club’s president. “We release them after, and then NOAA takes the data to keep an eye on the sharks.”
Since the sharks at the beach aren’t large, Tolentino said, “They aren’t likely to attack anyone. Sharks are everywhere, you just don’t see them.”
Both spinners were reeled in by fishing club member James Hinson, who has had experience catching sharks.
“I joined the fishing club as a way to make friends on campus and to get me out of my room,” Hinson said. “The fishing club has remained a place to just gather friends who all enjoy the same hobby of fishing, and spend a day at the beach to get away when you’re stressed.”
Anyone is allowed to go shark fishing as long as they complete a free online course by the Florida Fishing and Wildlife Conservation Commission to get a permit.
The FWC’s website, which the event’s CORQ page linked to, also includes a list of harvestable and prohibited sharks with limits based on species and size.
Breeds allowed to be caught include finetooth, blacknose, bull, nurse, spinners and other small breeds.
Prohibited breeds include the likes of lemon, Galapagos, tiger, whale and white sharks.
Armed with this knowledge, their permits, fishing rods, spare lines and enough bait to last the day, the fishing club was glad to have anyone join the event.
“This is the first time that this event was as open to the public as it was,” Tolentino said.
He also said that the only things to worry about were hooking other people and handling the sharks.
Fishing club meetings are held every other week from seven p.m. at Olin Life Science room 130.
“I hope more people come out to our events and club meetings,” Tolentino said. “It’s chill with no dues or anything. We’re all just out here having a good time fishing.”