This giant shark was caught just miles off Long Branch, NJ
There are a variety of sharks that swim off the Jersey shore. One of the more prevalent of the species is the thresher shark. With its long tail it can stun and disable their prey with one slap of it.
We're used to seeing them when we're fishing just off the beach many times and around jetties. The one pictured here was caught this past Sunday, Father's Day, about 7 miles off the beach of Long Branch.
You have to get a tag, that's free from the feds, to fish for them. It's a pretty boring and tedious type of fishing that involved fishing with a balloon type bobber, much like you'd fish in a pond.
You hook a hunk of oily fish like bunker or false Albacore and let it settle down about 60 feet or so. Then you throw chum overboard, like they did in the movie Jaws, and just wait ... and wait.
This group of guys fishing with Ark Sport Fishing Charters were just about to give up after about five hours when they hooked a 400-pound, 15-foot thresher shark. The tail alone was 8 feet!
Even though these predators can come pretty close to shore they generally stay away from people, unless you happen to be right in the middle of the bait fish their after. That's pretty unlikely since you'd probably scare off the bait fish by your presence.
However, you might not be so lucky is a great white or bull shark is feeding nearby. They tend to be less discriminatory when looking for food and yes can be found right off the beach at certain times.
Captain Tony Bartone was fishing with the same fishing buddy, Frankie, that he caught sharks with 33 years earlier. They've still got it after all these years!
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis Malloy's own.