On October 9th a group of fishermen went out of Little River on a guided charter, with the Little River Fleet, in hopes of catching a few nice sharks. They had to cut the trip short when Evan Smith, of Hancock, Maryland and his fishing buddies caught a new state record Spinner Shark.
Smith was on a vacation with a few of his family members when they decided to take a guided trip with the hopes of catching a big fish. So, he booked a charter with the Little River Fleet for his father Carl Smith of Hancock Maryland, his Brother-in-law Travis Younker of Warfordsburg Pennsylvania, and Travis’s son Trayton Younker, and himself. “We weren’t really caring what we going to catch,” said Smith. “We just wanted it to be something big.”
Captain TJ, of the Little River Fleet, took them to a spot about two miles offshore and cast a few live Croakers into the water.
After about an hour on the water, the group had only caught two sharks about three-feet long.
“I saw a shrimp boat moving toward us and I positioned the boat to where our baits would intersect the shrimp boats path,” said Captain TJ.
“The rods were maybe just in the water long enough for the bait to drift away from the boat for the shark to hit the bait,” said Smith. “I can’t believe how fast we were hooked up.”
The shark stayed calm and rather close to the surface as Smith slowly cranked the shark in on the Penn Senator 4/0. Soon, the leader became visible.
“As the shark came close to the boat the first time, we noticed that the snap on the swivel had almost became straightened,” said Smith. After a failed attempt at gaffing the sluggish shark, the shark realized what was going on and made a hard run that nearly stripped all the line off the reel.
“The shark was taking off so much line we decided to fire up the motor and chase after the shark,” said Captain TJ. They chased the fish down for about 20 minutes before they had finally worn the fish out. This time Captain TJ had the longer gaff ready when the shark neared the surface.
“The captain and his mate stuck the shark and hauled it up over the side,” said Smith. “It was a monster Spinner Shark and we all knew it must be a new state record. When everyone calmed down we called the trip to get it weighed.”
“It was one heck of a shark,” said Captain TJ. “We just looked at it and knew it had to be a new state record due to its size.”
The group met up with SCDNR to get the fish weighed. “The scale went to 171 and all the captains were excited,” said Smith. The shark measured 76 inches to the fork of the tail and weighted 171lbs. This made Evan Smith the new state record-holder for Spinner Sharks.They took the SCDNR official measurements and sent them to Gray’s Taxidermy to get a replica mount made of the shark.
“We went down there on a family vacation, and I never thought we would end up catching a new state record fish,” said Smith.