, Port Arthur, Texas


March 1, 2014

Chester Moore column: Shark encounters are unforgettable


PORT ARTHUR —     Blacktips might be underappreciated but virtually everyone knows about the gruesome reputation of the bull shark.

    In the same area at the Chandeleur Islands trip  I caught a 5-footer from a boat just off the drop-off of an island we had been wade-fishing a few hours earlier.

    This was a few years later while filming with television host Keith Warren He thought it would be best if we photographed the fish from the shore, so I hopped overboard waded to the bank with the fish still battling and brought it to shore.

    We filmed the whole thing and then talked a bit about bull sharks and shark conservation.

      “Sharks like the bull shark are potentially dangerous to man, but they play a valuable role in nature,” I said.

    “Sharks are the apex predator in the Gulf of Mexico, and without them, the entire food chain would be disrupted. I occasionally take sharks to eat, but bulls have super thick hide and I think I will release this one to fight another day.”

    At this point, Keith and I walked the big shark back out into the water and he demonstrated the proper technique for reviving a fish by pushing water through its gills.

    The fish seemed worn out but quickly gained its strength. Keith pushed it out toward the deep, and on camera, we said something about a job well done and started to walk back to shore.

    Then something caught my eye: The shark we had released had swam out about 20 yards and then turned around toward us. We were in water over our knees a good 30 yards from the bank. There was no way we were going to outrun the shark, so I prepared to kick it the best I could.

    As it got about 10 feet from us, it turned sideways for a second as if it shows its authority, and then turned the other direction.

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