Shark Encounter Capt. Carter Andrews
Capt. Carter Andrews is obsessed with fishing, and his adventures around the world are chronicled in his fishing show, The Obsession of Carter Andrews. He chases everything from mountain stream trout to giant sharks in the Madfin Shark Tournament series. Capt. Carter shared a few moments focused on his shark experiences and we appreciate it.
Here is an excerpt of Capt. Carter hand-lining sharks in the Florida Keys. This is just the tip of the iceberg so check out his show!
Q:What’s the biggest shark you’ve ever caught?
A:Well really not that big as far as sharks go. It was probably about 400-pound tiger shark. I released it. These fish are so magnificent I couldn’t imagine ever killing one.
Q:What’s the biggest you’ve seen?
A:I was on the backside of Crooked Island coming back from bonefishing one day and we came up on a huge hammerhead. She was in 5 feet of water, her belly looked like it was touching the bottom and her dorsal and tail still stuck out of the water a couple feet.
I was in a 17-foot skiff and she was longer than us.
I didn’t think we were harassing the shark but how often do you get the chance to grab the dorsal fin of a free swimming monster shark. On one of the attempts she spun around and actually lifted the stern of the skiff with her head. That was enough for me. I am guessing she was back there to give birth because every year we would see a couple.
Q:Where have you seen the most sharks?
A:Over the years of fishing the MadFin in Key West I have seen loads of sharks and many different species. I think it is a toss up between Key West and the Bahamas.
Q:Have you ever been bitten?
A:Knock on wood. Close but not yet and I hope it never happens. When handling sharks I am always very careful. You have to have respect for sharks if you are going to play with them. Don’t miss treat them. They will bite.
Q:What species would you call your favorite?
A:From a sportfishing stand point I really like the blacktips and the spinner sharks. They are super fast, stocky, jump and put up a great fight. They will eat lures and flies well and because of the size you are not committed to really long fights. But I would have to say from a purely majestic standpoint the oceanic whitetip is my favorite.
Q:What is your least favorite shark?
Q:Please tell the story of your most memorable shark encounter?
A:That’s an easy one. I was on my way back from Diana Bank one afternoon and kept seeing lots of whitewater off in the distance. I figured I should go have a look. What I came upon was one of the largest apex predators of the ocean doing what they do best. It was a 1000-plus-pound mako eating a pilot whale. The attack had just happened. The blood slick in the water was a couple acres and deep red. We watched the mako come up from under the whale take a bite that pushed a third of its body out of the water and shaking its head until the flesh tore apart. We watched this happen 3 or 4 times from less than 100 feet away. All I could think about was hooking this monster. I set up one of our Tiagra 80’s with a 60-pound yellowfin that we had caught earlier and bumped trolled around the dead pilot whale. We never got bit and never saw the mako again.
Photo Credits: Capt. Carter Andrews