Back in late September, a buddy Jack Branston and I drove down to the Florida Keys in hopes to have a successful two weeks on the water. For the most part, this was a “do it yourself” trip, which was successful in 2007. Looking back at this trip I can say that we failed miserably in the category of catching fish, partly due to bad weather and the fact that the downtown flats aren’t exactly the easiest place to catch fish.
We did, however, leave Florida with an experience that I will never forget. Halfway through the two week trip, Jack and I are poling into a flat near the Lignumvitae Key to snap some shots of the birds hanging around in the mangroves.
Wrapping up with the photography, Jack and I noticed a large disturbance on the next flat. It was obviously a huge fish, but was hard to identify exactly what it was. So, we decide to go check it out. We pull up onto the flat in our 14ft aluminum john boat and were astonished at what we were witnessing. This disturbance turns out to be an enormous hammerhead eating a sting ray that was close to the size of the hood on our SUV. We watched this shark rip this ray apart for over 20 minutes. This hammerhead didn’t care that we were there, he was eating. He was so focused on his meal that he ended up swimming underneath our john boat, slapping the hull with his tail on his way out. Truly the most amazing thing I have seen.
We were both lucky to have seen that. You never know what you will see when you are out fishing the flats!