Gulf of Mexico mako jumps in & out of boat

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May 24, 2002

Shark shocks crew of Strike Zone

By Jim Wagner, Destin (Fla.) Log Staff writer

The anglers and crew on the Strike Zone got more excitement than they bargained for: A mako shark jumped into the boat during a fishing trip Monday in the Gulf of Mexico.

“All you could hear was him chopping his jaws,” said Ray “Pineapple” Takamoto, the mate on the boat.

Takamoto said they were fishing in about 200 feet of water near an area in the Gulf the captains call “The Edge,” when angler Boots Atkins dropped his line into the water.

It suddenly went slack and Atkins began reeling it in.

“The next thing I know,” Takamoto said, “is the shark jumped into the boat.”

It flopped onto the gunwale, struck Takamoto in the leg, slid across the back of the boat and then fell into the water, he said.

“It was funny. Scared ... everybody,” he said.

About 15 minutes later, Atkins had reeled the 4 1/2-foot, 50-pound shark to the boat. The crew gaffed it, hoisted it aboard and flopped it into the fish box.

“Never in a million years will that ever happen again,” Takamoto said.

He said he wished they had a video camera on board to record the excitement.

On the boat with Takamoto were his wife, Cathy Kennedy, and members of their families. Capt. Pat Atkins was at the helm of the Strike Zone.

Because makos taste good, Takamoto said it would be filleted, cooked — and eaten.

Jim Wagner can be reached at 654-8448 and at Jim_Wagner@link.freedom.com.
 

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