The Bunker Up crew headed back to our honey hole in Assateague Island, MD on August 3-10th. Sheri and I were joined by her son, Shane and my nephew Mike. We landed at the Ponderosa early in the morning to meet up with Mike and Kim. We arrived to find Big Mike in the driveway melting lead for the BUF sinkers. This guy is totally insane, but in a great way! He has a bad back but was still making sure Bunker Up was all set. Talk about, “bunkering up!” Kim informed us they wouldn’t be going out because their fridge wasn’t working so the rest of us headed out to the beach. We drove down to our spot to find Logan, our newest shark wrangler, already fishing. This dude gets it done! It’s always cool to see one of our Bunker Up family on the beach. It and also doesn’t hurt to have another set of hands to help deal with the catch.
It wasn’t long before we hooked into a nice dusky weighing roughly 150lbs. Logan jumped right in and grabbed its tail which is the attitude I was just referring to. My nephew Mike also landed a 100lber. My girlfriend, Sheri had a nice one, but lost it in the surf. It was a good afternoon for sure. Bunker Up gets it done! You don’t have time to play games when you’re dealing with something that can bite you. I think that’s one of the main reasons I love this company so much. When you purchase our equipment, it pretty much forces you to get serious on the beach. You don’t have a choice because now your catching big fish. You’ve hooked it….now you have to deal with it. I love the adrenalin that comes with every catch and watching kids face their fears is so rewarding.
…this brings me to the highlight of the trip. On Sunday night we met up with the Stahlers on the beach. After a few launches and snacks I saw the far rod starting to bounce just ever so slightly. I got up and grabbed the rod. It felt slack so I told Shane (who up to this point hadn’t got into a shark so he’s was very eager) to take the rod. I told him to reel down and get ready. Now remember this kid is only 12 and has never reeled in anything over 40lbs. A few seconds later, “ZEEEEEEZZZZZZZZ!” there went the line peeling off the reel. I looked back at him and saw a look of worry on his face. I said, “Bunker Up boy, this is what you came for!” I was thinking he may have had a 100lber which would be an awesome test for his stamina. Jeff Stahler was coaching him while I tried to keep an eye on the surf. I felt confident that with Jeff on one side and Logan on the other we would have no problems getting this fish in. Then I heard Jeff say, “It’s a Sand Tiger!” When I finally got a glimpse of the beast, I knew it was well over 200lbs. At that moment I started thinking this kid just reeled in a 250lber. Now, he had a little help from Jeff, but I have to say I was very proud that he hung in there. Not many kids his age can say they fought and landed a fish like that so I knew I had to get it in for a picture.
Once again, my man Logan jumped right in. He grabbed the tail as I dragged the leader connected to his head just as we had the first day. We always make sure to keep the fish close to the water so we can release them as quick as possible. I opened the shark’s mouth to find the hook hanging by a thread. I instantly got a flashback of my first monster shark. It was the same scenario; the hook was hanging by a thread. I yelled to Shane, “get in the picture boy!” He hesitated. I yelled again, “get in the picture! You’re not reelin’ in something like this without a picture to remember it!” He leaned over and touched the shark as if to say, “Thanks!” I caught the next wave and released him unharmed. High fives were flying all around! Another job well done by the Bunker Up Boys. Great job Shane! He may have moved up from the Ram Rod position on this trip.
The next exciting day, Kim and I decided to hit the beach mid morning. The tide was coming in and we wanted to catch some bait fish. I think it was the first cast she bangs out a nice keeper flounder. I, like a dummy, thought the limit size was 18 and threw it back. Sorry Kim. She then proceeded to catch a Pompano. It was small but nevertheless very cool. I have never seen one caught on Assateague. It blew my mind! You see them in Florida but never here…way cool. We rounded out the day with a couple small sharks. It was an awesome day of fishing and a very successful trip for the company because throughout the week we were able to get our BUF display set up at Bucks Bait and Tackle. The weekend coming up I’ll be bringing a custom caster to his shop. It’s painted by Robb Ortel, of Orange County Choppers. We started the raffle in Texas and were able to sell 70 tickets in an hour. I’m sure within a week at the beach we’ll sell out the rest. I am really looking forward to handing it to the lucky winner.
As always, thanks to everyone for their help; especially the BUF team of the Poderosa. That place is awesome…as is the food! It’s just killer. Until next time…Bunker UP!