, Port Arthur, Texas


August 17, 2013

Chester Moore column: Readers enthused over Sharks

PORT ARTHUR —  In my 21 years of outdoors journalism, I have never fielded as many questions about sharks as have come my way in the last two weeks.

  Between “Shark Week” on Discovery and a fair number of shark catches and sightings in Sabine Lake and surrounding waters, everyone seems to have sharks on their mind.

  The following are shark questions I have been asked recently along with the accompanying answers.

  Q: Are there tiger sharks in local waters?

  A: If you consider local waters, the Gulf of Mexico out of Sabine Pass the answer is “yes”. Tiger sharks are not super abundant anywhere but have isolated pockets of strongholds including the Caribbean and the waters off Hawaii. Occasionally tigers will show up in the near shore Gulf out of Sabine Pass and every few years someone will catch one in the surf around Galveston.

  Q: What do you think is the most dangerous shark on the planet?

  A: Danger can be defined many ways. If you look at abundance in human populated areas combined with aggression the bull shark is the winner. However if you look at size and aggression combined the great white takes it. I however believe if you just take all the sharks of the world and put humans around them, there is one that would make me the most nervous and that is the oceanic whitetip. They live in deep offshore waters and rarely encounter people but when they do, it often turns ugly. It is believed they were the source of most of the attacks on the real life U.S.S. Indianapolis incident that was referenced in “Jaws”.

  Q: What is the type of shark people have been catching in Bessie Heights Marsh?

  A: I have seen one photo of a bull shark that was caught in that area this summer and have seen a few shots over the last decade of juvenile blacktips caught in the Bessie Heights area. They are completely freshwater tolerant and probably exist much further up the Neches and Sabine than we realize.

  Q: What is the best thing to do if I am wadefishing and a shark attacks my stringer?

  A: Let him have it. If it’s a tiny shark, you can probably pull your stringer away but if it’s a big one don’t argue. They will win.

  Q: So, is megalodon really still alive? I saw a documentary that said it was on “Shark Week”.

  A: The documentary was a fake and if you saw the fine print at the end of the first broadcast, it said so. On the second airing, they admitted so at the beginning according to a story at The same goes with the mermaid “documentary” they aired last year.

  I doubt there are any megalodon left but in the deep ocean just about anything is possible.

  Q: What is your favorite shark?

  A: The great white. When I saw “Jaws” as a kid it blew my mind and I have had a love affair with great whites ever since. Other than that, the long, dark-colored Greenland shark is a favorite. They grow up to 20 feet in length and eat seals that feed under the ice. Creep and cool.

  (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at


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