ABC 7 Sarasota - It has been quite a week with area anglers catching some interesting sites with their cell phones and rods and reels along the Suncoast.
The first story comes to us from a father and son team who ran into an estimated 12 foot hammerhead shark chasing after a large tarpon near Bean Point in Manatee.
Aaron and George Smock were coming back to shore after a offshore fishing trip on their 22 foot boat. As they were approaching the N. tip of Anna Maria near the sandbar on the NW portion, son Aaron spotted a dark shadow moving through the waters. He grabbed his cell phone and started shooting, and the rest is history.
He captures some amazing video of an estimated 12+ foot hammerhead getting his prey, a large tarpon. Native to this area, Aaron says this is by far the most amazing thing he's seen while fishing during his lifetime.
The scary thing about it is that fact that you can see people swimming not too far away from all the action, and it appears to be in early afternoon, not during dawn or dusk when sharks are know to feed.
The other video comes from Jeffri Durrance and his team "Top Down". While fishing in a Kingfish tournament last Saturday (3/5/14) they hooked up a rare fish seldom seen or even caught in area waters so close to the shoreline.
Just 6 miles offshore of Lido in 40 feet of water they hooked up a large billfish, using a cigar minnow and rig used to catch kings. It was totally unexpected as David Hollifield battled the sailfish for over 20 minutes.
I have heard of others catching small sailfish well offshore, but not this big and so close. Capt. Jeffri tells me " they brought it in, took pictures and then release the fish shortly there after." He said after reviving the fish a bit while slowly trolling, the fish gained strength and swam strongly away.
Cap. Jeffri Durrance who's an avid angler for over 40 years here has never seen such a large billfish caught so close to the shore. On board were Mason Tush and Brian Wells, who were also quite amazed.
A lot of fishing stories with video and images to back it up.