Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Perfect time to create a shark tale of your own
By ED WALKER Fishing
Published July 28, 2007
The late summer doldrums are upon us and some fishing has become slow during the mid-day heat. There is one potential target that actually prefers the hot water: sharks. July and August are the best time of year to fish for sharks of all sizes and, due to increased protection, smaller recreational bag limits and a trimming of commercial harvest quotas, the shark population in the eastern Gulf of Mexico is experiencing a remarkable comeback.
Blacktips and spinners
There are lots of sharks within a few miles of the coast. Most are blacktips and their close cousins, spinner sharks. Spinners get their name from the aerial display they put on when hooked. They almost always fly out of the water, rolling their bodies in a corkscrew motion in mid-air. This spinning also makes them harder to catch.
They spin so many times they become wrapped in the leader and expose the line to their rough skin. Even with a wire leader longer than the shark's body, many spinner sharks wrap themselves up in the line and break it before they reach the boat.
Black tips also jump, but with fewer mid-air twists. Both species put up epic battles that rival that of just about any other local gamefish. Most range in size from 20 to 100 pounds.
Where to look
Though you may find the smaller sharks about anywhere, there are a few places that hold them consistently. One of the best is the sandbar just north of Anclote Key. The Nature Coast area garnered national attention here when a news helicopter filmed a school of more than 100 sharks, mostly spinners and blacktips, slowly cruising over the white sand bottom. While it was heralded as a freak occurrence, such aggregations are fairly normal in July and August.
Other good spots are the artificial reefs, particularly those holding schools of baitfish such as thread herring or Spanish sardines. Farther north, many shark hunters fish around the tripod markers off Hernando and Bayport.
The big ones
Not only is late summer good for smaller sharks, it is prime time to tangle with a true monster. Just a few miles offshore, and in some of the channels, big bull, hammerhead, dusky, sandbar and even tiger sharks may be lurking.
These behemoths are for those brave souls who enjoy the challenge of playing tug-of-war with something that weighs 300 pounds or more. In fact, hooking a tiger or hammerhead over 700 pounds is not out of the question this month.
When gearing up for a fight with a giant shark, beefy tackle is the only tackle. Even with 130-pound test line, 1,000-pound test aircraft cable leader and 9/0 reels, the big boys are tough to land. Fighting chairs make the job easier but stand-up style rod belt and harness combos will increase your leverage and help to wear the shark out before your arms give out.
About any oily or bloody fish will work for sharks but freshness is key. A fresh bonito will be more effective at drawing sharks than one that has been frozen. Other good choices include stingrays, jacks and barracuda. Something between 5 and 15 pounds is preferable.
Fishing with huge baits requires huge hooks. Most sharkers use a tandem setup with a pair of 12/0 to 16/0 forged-steel hooks. These are typically run through the mouth of the bait, out the gill, then hooked into the body in two places: one in the middle and the other closer to the tail.
The tail then is cut off to help release the scent into the water. When rigged this way the bait is streamlined when retrieved and produces solid hookups.