Face to Face with an Apex Predator – Again

by | Oct 20, 2021 | great white sharks | 5 comments

flyfishingRick Wilsterman passed me on to my friend Bob Lewis at 5:45 this morning.  Bob took me fishing today and then to my gig for the Cape Cod Trout Unlimited Club tonight.  Tomorrow he’ll take me to spend a full day with the Cape Cod Fly Rodders then to the airport for home on Friday.  Bob has hooked me up with speaking gigs for three visits here to Cape Cod and also become a great fishing friend.

 

flyfishingThe most unique fact about Bob is that he loves fishing the saltwater of the Cape so much that he’s never caught a trout in his life.  That’s a mind blowing stat and Bob may in fact be my only friend that hasn’t caught a trout.  It’s pretty cool in an odd way.  At sunrise Bob and I were leaving Cotuit Bay in his boat to search for false albacore and perhaps a nice striped bass.

 

Monomoy-FlatsThe wind was still blowing hard.  Bob’s boat is bigger than Ricks and traveling big waves place to place looking for fish wasn’t an issue.  You just had to hang on and go.  That’s exactly what we did.  We worked our way west checking all Bob’s regular false albacore haunts all the way to Chatham, but not a fish was stirring.

 

Once at Chatham we were on familiar waters for me.  Rick and I fished here the last three days.  Due to the wind Rick and I were limited as for hitting the rips for stripers but in Bob’s boat it wasn’t a problem and we bounced our way along the Monomoy Flats and past the lighthouse and went a few miles out to sea.

 

Jeff-CurrierWe hit slack tide perfect and Bob had me drop a Clouser down on top a 20 foot deep sandbar.  The target fish was a fluke (summer flounder).  Bobs caught a lot of them here over the years on bait and jigs.  It took me a minute to reach bottom but once there I hooked up quick only it wasn’t a fluke.  We found some deep running false albacore and I’d pick up two of the handsome little tunas before the tidal currents started up again.

 

flyfishingOnce the tidal currents started it became impossible for me to get a fly down deep again.  Big rips began to form and normally these are excellent for big striped bass.  Bob held the boat and I fished several of the rips with Clousers, Sand Eel patterns and poppers but not a single fish showed.  It appeared our two albies was going to be it for the day.

 

Currier-Cape-CodAs I stripped my fly through the rips I could see the area where Rick and I looked for great whites yesterday.  Above, that same Cessna flew along.  About then I saw something rolling in the beach wave.  There were seagulls waiting to reach it.  It was a freshly killed seal.

 

sharks

I’d told Bob about looking for great whites yesterday.  Bob laughed and said in all his years on the water he’d never seen one.  “Yeah they’re here but you just never see them”, he said.  But he noticed how intrigued I was and offered to drive us over for a look.

 

great-white-sharkOur side trip from fishing would end up being a life changing event.  We headed for the freshly killed seal and sure enough there was another fishing boat with the same idea.  And they started pointing.  Bob sped over and there it was – a great white shark about 12 feet!  “Holy crap!” I shouted while standing high on the bow.

 

I can’t begin to explain the feeling.  After a lifetime of only knowing great white sharks from Jaws and Shark Week on TV – this face to face encounter with the oceans most intimidating apex predator was incredible.  Bob was equally as excited and I don’t think either of us could believe what we were seeing!

 

flyfishingThis particular shark let us follow it for about five minutes then it disappeared into the deep.  But we weren’t alone for long.  Within minutes a larger specimen appeared under the boat and headed towards the beach.  This fish was nearly 15 feet long and was hot to trot to find a seal.  And there were a few seals on the beach.

 

The seals weren’t stupid however.  Their dead friend was now washed up on the beach shredded to pieces.  Somehow it had escaped but its wounds were too severe to survive.  A couple times a seal came down waters edge but the shark knew and would swim over.  There were a couple close calls but we did not see a kill.  It was amazing how close to shore this massive shark would swim.  At times he was less than five feet off the beach edge!

 

flyfishingBob and I enjoyed the sharks for nearly an hour.  A third showed up as we were leaving.  I’ll say two things:  First, this was my best fishing day of the year and we hardly caught any fish.  Seeing my first great white sharks was a life long dream.  Second, don’t fall overboard!

 

It was about an hour boat ride back to Cotuit Harbor.  Bob and I looked for fish all the way but they truly were hiding today.  The good part however was that the wind has finally died and the boat ride was pleasant.  We pulled off the water around 4 PM and quickly turned around and headed to my event.

 

Cape-CodTonight, I delivered “The Worlds Best Trout Destinations” to a group of about 25 Trout Unlimited Members.  It was their first in person event since the start of Covid nearly two years ago.  It was a great time for all, including myself.  It feels great to be back in front of a live audience.  In fact, it was so nice that I’d like to remind everyone that you can hire me to speak at your club as well.  Just Contact me and we’ll get it set up.

 

Tomorrow I’ll teach a full day of seminars to Cape Cod Fly Rodders.  We’ll begin the day with beach fishing.  Without the big wind it should be a pleasant day with the folks.  I’m really looking forward to it.  This has been a great trip!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

5 Comments

  1. Kristen Sorensen

    That’s soo cool!!!!

  2. Lance

    Sharks are amazing… Great white would be epic! Little surprised you didn’t try a cast just cause? Lol

  3. Dan Yeast

    Glad you didn’t need a “bigger boat!”

  4. David Yagerman

    Great story Jeff!

    For a year prior to the onset of Covid, I was the acting president of the Salty Flyrodders of New York. I have a passion for saltwater fly fishing but often go offshore for Tuna on Long Island.
    While fishing for yellow and bluefin approximately 80 miles offshore we hooked and fought a 200LB Tuna for the better part of 1.5 hours. As we started getting the fish to surrender a 15ft Great White surfaced under the Tuna, took one bite leaving only the head!

    There went my Tuna of a lifetime on a spinning reel and jig but I too came face to face with JAWS! What made it even more exciting is that I had clients onboard and it’s an experience they still talk about.

    If you ever want to fish the long island sound or the NY bite contact me.

    Sincerely,

    Dave

    David Yagerman
    [718]419-4777

  5. Jeff

    Great story Dave! And glad the rest of you enjoyed the story

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!

Archives

Sponsors