A naughty shark.

Two seasons ago I became obsessed with a body of water called De Mond.  I fished it every single weekend for almost 6 months straight and witnessed some remarkable things.

The 18th of December 2010 was particularly special.  The sea temperature was unusually warm (the previous weekend I measured the lagoon temperature at 26 degrees on the bottom, under the bridge on the high tide).   My favourite conditions are high water and a high sun, no clouds, to help with spotting fish.  The 18th was the inverse.  High tide was 9am and the mist rolled in through the valleys with a 8-10knt southern breeze.  I swam across the channel to my usual spot and waited for the fish to come up from the channel on to the flat.  I was sopping wet from the swim and getting rained on.  The tidal push was 1.95m, higher than usual and meant that I had to stand chest deep to avoid spooking the fish.

The lagoon was alive with activity.  I had seen Kob hunt on this flat so when I felt water swish behind my calves I thought that’s exactly what had happened-A big Kob had come up out of the skinny channel and spooked at the sight of me.  But there was far too much sand in the water, even for a large Kob.  My heart rate had picked up slightly and I was uncomfortable because the low light meant my polarized glasses couldn’t see through the water like they usually could.  I was still busy convincing myself it was a Kob when I caught something out the corner of my eye.

A big, dark shape pushing a bow wake turned off to my right and started heading straight back towards me.  The dorsal wasnt exposed yet but from my experience in the tropics I knew it was a decent sized shark.  I hoped it would just cruise past like Reef Sharks and Lemons do.  It didn’t.  It was now 5 meters away and I could see its pectoral fins flexed straight down.  Not a good sign.  Broad, blunt head.  And then I realized.  Bull shark! SH%T.  I put my hands in my stripping basket and flinched as it turned right in front of me.  Less than a meter off.  Close enough for me to see the water pumping through its gills

It shot straight off across the flat into shallower water and I watched it chase 2 Grunter that Id been waiting for.  Darting across the flat wildly I could see it was in feeding mode.  Unsuccessful with the Grunter it turned again.  I wasn’t about to take a chance.  I  jumped into the channel behind me and swam across it, not looking back.

I’ve got a couple hundred dives to my name and some serious wading hours all over and I have never felt as threatened by a shark in the water.  It was the first and last shark I ever saw at De Mond and I’m convinced that had I not swam away I would have gotten much much closer with that animal.

2 thoughts on “A naughty shark.”

  1. Hamilton van Breda says:

    Well this is a first at “Die Mond”!! I am aware we have seen and heard of this in other estuaries. Would love to hear of others who have seen this at Die Mond. The difference is that Die Mond is really shallow even at high tide.

  2. petercoetzee says:

    Hi Hamilton thanks for the comment. I know guys have seen what they thought were raggies at the bridge but thats the only shark activity I’ve heard of other that this. That said, I’m not sure how many other guys have spent that many hours submerged or wading….

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