We got out on the sand flats at the north inlet of Pawley's Island yesterday, and I got hooked up on my first bonnethead shark. There is a nice channel that runs between the mashgrass edge and the sand flat just inshore of the inlet, and we snagged a couple of sheepshead early but both but they got loose.

The water was flat and clear and only about 2 feet deep, and just as we were thinking about moving on I saw a 3-foot shark moving from the flat into the channel. I managed to flip a shrimp on a float rig right in front of his snout. Two quick turns and he bracketed the bait and snatched it up. As I set the hook, he took off and the light drag setting I had been using stripped dozens of yards of line on his first run. Not 5 seconds later, all of the tension left the line and I cussed the fish for snapping off before a good fight on light tackle. Then, to my surprise I saw the little guy swimming right back alongside the boat, bright orange float rig still hanging from his mouth!

I assumed the line had snapped somewhere above the leader, and I was determined to haul him aboutd by whatever means necessary. I set down the rod and grabbed the cast net, tossing out an ugly hast tangle of mono right over his head. He saw the cast and took off like a rocket, moving before the net hit the water. Unfortunately, my assumption that he had snapped the line proved incorrect as my new Penn reel started to head overboard. We managed to grab it on the gunwale before it went in the drink, and then the line really snapped. It would have been fun to land that shark - probable 15# or so. From what I've read, Bonnethead fishing is pretty fun.

Editor's note: the pic above is neither my shark or my boat. Just a grab off the linked article.

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