We’re back from south of the boarder! What a trip…a filled up fishin’ mission for sure. I headed down to Murrels Inlet, SC to meet up with my friend Ryan who was going to help me with the surf fishing seminar. Ryan is also a Bunker Up Fishin’ sales rep in that area so if you want a demo or are interested in purchasing a Sand Blaster feel free to email me and I’ll put you in touch with him.
Our first day out, Ryan and I decided to fish the sunset in Garden City. It was a nice night and I liked the spot. It had easy access with the carts and the water was clear and warm. It was perfect. We were meeting some of Ryan’s friends there, Chet and Mike. We blasted a few baits and within a few minutes we landed a small blue fish and before the end of the night, we landed a couple small sharks as well. I was beat from the trip and decided to call it a night.
The next day was spent making and cleaning up all the rigs we had. We needed at least thirty shark baits for the seminar and a bunch more for the rest of the week. We tied two kinds. Ryan was upstairs tying floating rigs and I was downstairs tying bunker shark rigs. By the end of the day we had sixty baits! We were loaded for bear or in our case, sharks. I was still a little worn out from my ride so we decided to chill for the night and fish at first light.
We headed back to Garden City the next morning and caught the high tide just before it slacked. The first cast we landed a very snappy and full of attitude 45 lb. dusky shark. That was the norm for the sharks we’d caught this trip. They were all eager to try to remove us and a few of our fingers. We had heard there were some big sharks being caught and we had saw large Spinner Sharks leaping out of the water which was truly an awesome sight. Just like the Bunker Up crew; they really launch! I really wanted to land one. About two hours in we got a huge hit that bent the rod to the ground. Ryan ran and grabbed the rod before it went flying into the water. After a few hard tugs and it was over. We pulled the line in to find that the 135lb. steel leader snapped at the sinker. I really hate when that happens. Nevertheless, it was a great sign and we knew we were going to hook into some on this trip. We fished out the rest of the day, landing one more nice 30 lb. dusky. I told Ryan I would treat him to dinner at RIOS Steakhouse and that was enough for both of us to wrap it up for the day. By the way, if you’re a steak enthusiast, RIOS Steakhouse is the best place to go!
The next morning we met up with our friend, Leanna the Park Ranger who was hosting the seminar. We had participated in this seminar the year prior and it was so much fun she asked us to come back. We arrived to find a huge crowd under the pavilion, anxiously awaiting the seminar to begin. Leanna and local surf fishing fanatic, Jessica from Perry’s Bait and Tackle began to enlighten the viewers about the preferred techniques required to increase their chances of landing fish from the shore. It was a great presentation. Both ladies are very knowledgeable about fishing and I actually found myself learning a few things. People wonder why I and many others love fishing so much. This is just one perfect example. There’s always something to learn and every area is different; like a mysterious, never ending trail. Just when you think you have the fish figured out, they change. That’s why I always ask the locals what’s going on before we hit the beach. That’s where you will get the best advice.
Leanna introduced me to the crowd. I gave them a short rundown of our company and what the “Sand Blaster” is all about. After answering a few questions I invited them all to come out and watch a live instructional demonstration. Ryan was already out there setting up, so when the crowd gathered around I went through a quick down of how the Sand Blaster works. I yelled out, “Here we go!” and blasted a monster shot out there, beyond the “thunder dome,” as I like to call it. The reactions are always great. Most say, “Awesome!” Some say, “Holy cow!” Others just have stare across the ocean with their mouths open which is followed by a smile. Watching the reactions always puts a smile on my face. Even though it’s my invention and my company, I have to say that when it comes to doing demos it makes me feel like everyone there is a part of the process.
Shortly after the first shot, a group of kids from the, Palmetto Academy of Learning and Success showed up. They immediately gathered around the caster and wanted to see it in action. I asked for volunteers and had no trouble finding a few of the classmates to help. They all did a great job and I was very impressed with their willingness to get involved. We took a great picture and said our goodbyes as they had to go to back to school. Hopefully they will be back next year. I would love to get them to reel in some monster sharks. I was hoping that would be the case while they were there but fishing is just that, fishing. Otherwise they would call it “catching”.
In the next, passing hour, the crowd began to thin out but a few diehards stayed glued to the rod holders in hopes of landing a big shark. The next hit was a nice one. Two people went for it; a young man and an older gentlemen. Neither was able to get the rod out of the holder due to the fact that our rod holders are high off the sand so you must bend it over and yank it out. I was able to help them. As I was reeling up the slack I realized it was a nice little 20lber. I turned to find this little boy who went for the rod. I walked towards him and presented the fish to him. He didn’t hesitate and grabbed it like he meant it! I really enjoyed that. After giving the youngster some landing instructions I looked to my left and saw his father giving me a thumbs up. Those are the moments I thank the Lord for allowing me to be in a position to make a small difference in someone’s life. I asked the youngster what his name was. He said, “Jackson.” I said well let’s go to Jackson and get this fish in! His Mom said that she loves Johnny Cash. I agreed. After landing the fish I presented Jackson with a BUF hat for doing such a great job. We took a great picture and thanked each other for a great time.
Then came Arny. This guy was glued to the rod. He wanted a big fish bad and wasn’t leaving until he got to reel something in. “Bang!” Down went the rod and Arny grabbed it. It was rippin’ out drag fast. I thought, “Wow! This guy’s got a monster!” Anticipating a big catch and release, I ran and got the video camera and shark tags. Twenty minutes later we saw it was a nice ray about 40lbs or so. After a great photo with Arny, I did the usual careful task of releasing the beast back to the sea. He was exhausted but happy. While thanking us, the other rod went down ripping line like no one had seen that day. Then we saw it launch out of the water! “It’s a Spinner!” we all yelled. Ryan grabbed the rod and wrestled it out of the rod holder. Seconds later it launched again! Then, “Snap!” Just like a tire exploding, the exuberant anticipation in the air vanished. Ryan reeled the line in only to find the 135lb. steel leader snapped again. That proved enough for Arny. He asked for my business card and said he was going to get his buddies to go in on buying one of these units. “That was insane.” were his exact words. We gave him a hat and left him to his fish story.
Now comes the creme dela crème. We had just launched two fresh bait out when the first rod goes down again…I mean, straight down, horizontal to the ground and ripping out drag! Ryan started running towards it but it was too late. The rod launched out of the holder and skidded across the sand like it was being pulled by a boat. It went 50 yards before hitting th ocean where Ryan made a second attempt to grab it. I was right behind him but in another second, it was out of sight. “Ed,” the Superman of the Surf. I dove in where I had last seen it only to come up empty. Disgusted and feeling a sense of loss I looked over and see this Old cat (who I would later refer to as, “Ed,” the Superman of the Surf) making his way out into the deeper water. He said, “I’m going to check out be the sandbar.” I replied, “That’s ok boss. Don’t hurt yourself.” I then began to think of how many big sharks are out there. I told him to come on in. On my way in, I looked back to see Ed diving into the sea again. As I turned back towrd the beach I heard the people on the shore yell out, “He got it!” I looked back to see this Superman of a guy with my rod. I thanked him the whole way in asked his name and told him he was amazing. Ryan and I both agreed this guy is getting a BUF Tackle bag for sure. Before leaving we thanked him again and took a picture. I’d just to give Ed another shout out. I’ve met a new fishing brother for sure. You can fish with us anytime!
The snapped lines were to continue throughout the rest of the trip. We decided the next trip we’ll try to attach some heavy mono fishing line to avoid the lack of stretch in the braid. Like I said before, it’s always a learning experience and one we welcome on every trip. I want to give a special thanks to Leanna and the Park Ranger crew for inviting us to a great event. Thanks also to Ryan for putting up the Bunker Up Crew while we were in town. Also I want to thank my girlfriend, Sheri for her help in making the trip possible. Thanks BABE!
Until the next mission… keep fishin’ and remember, “Why Cast it When You Can Blast it?!”