When Calvin Tom paddled out for an SUP fishing session Monday off the coast of Cardiff, Calif., he didn’t expect to hook an 80-pound fish. He had planned to investigate the water when he saw birds bomb diving, but soon found himself in the middle of a shark feeding frenzy.
Tom, an avid standup paddle fisherman, had paddled a half-mile out from the point at Swami's to investigate the waters with friend, Ty. "The birds were hitting the water real hard so I figured something was going on," Tom said. As he neared the area he had some thoughts about what could be going on. "It's either a seal churning up the bait, so the seagulls can come down. Or it's dolphins churning up the bait," Tom guessed.
As Tom and Ty reached the area, they realized it wasn't seals or dolphins causing all the commotion. It was thresher sharks. "I did in fact see three and I think Ty saw five of them," Tom said.
Although it wasn't his first tug-of-war with a big fish, the thresher he hooked Monday was strong enough to tow him a mile and a half out from shore. Normally, the standup paddle fisherman says he does catch and release, but was convinced by his friend to battle the thresher and bring it in. Now, the 80-pound thresher is filleted and filling Tom's freezer. – Shari Coble