Shawn Mey on Catching Big Sharks
Catching Big Sharks with Shawn Mey from Go Fish Tours

Hey guys I feel the need to let the “Internet Warriors” know how we or I, as Go Fish Tours in Mossel Bay, handle catching big sharks. Landing a big shark is more than just a photo opportunity for me and my clients, my main job as an Extreme Angling Guide and Ocean Research Tagger for ORI, is to always look out for every shark that we catch, big or small, more so than we look out for our clients and their photos.

Some of you may see a big shark lying upside down and immediately think the worst, so let me explain…I have a rule on my tours saying that we don’t fish light tackle, I believe in 0.60 is a the limit of light tackle for big sharks, reason for that is I believe to land any shark as quickly as possible to avoid all the stress and fatigue on shark I want my clients to basically land a green shark that’s still full of energy as I want the shark to still be strong after we have tagged and release them back into ocean.

What we or I do is, fish with a minimum of a 1.8mm leader, the reasons for this is when my client has a shark in the shallows, I want to be able to handle any big fish, handline style, on the last 10 meters onto the rocks hands on, my very first instinct is to turn the shark upside down, that’s how the whole picture and tagging takes place with an upside down shark.

Turning any shark upside down is what saves a shark, firstly an upside down shark goes into tonic immobilization, a sleep state that prevents a green shark from splashing around and hurting itself on the rocks. Secondly, turning the shark upside down takes the total weight off it intestinal organs as sharks don’t have a rib cage to protect it’s internal organs.

You now have a safe shark that you can handle easy with a client that does not know anything about sharks. This allows us to take more accurate measurements of the shark than a measurement of a shark over the back. Lastly and most importantly, when everything is done, tagging, measures and photos, when the shark is turned back over, it’s still full of energy and ready for the release and will swim off strong.

I hope this will clear up any concerns regarding our photos, we always do everything in a 5 minute time limit, that’s why you will see the sharks sleeping and look like they do. As always I’m happy to answer any questions you may have, kindly forward your questions via email or drop a message on our Facebook Page.