The San Diego Union Tribune article, Fisherman releases great white, reports that Jeff Patterson, a client of Conway Bowman of Bluewater Bowman, hooked a small great white shark off La Jolla (San Diego, CA) on July 17, 2009. Bowman estimated the shark to be around 6′ (1.8 meters) in length and 150 lbs (68kg) in weight. The white shark was hooked on a a fly-rod and was brought it within 25 minutes of being hooked. After removing the fly from the white shark’s mouth, both Patterson and Conway patted the shark on the head, and then the shark was released back into its natural environment. Bowman was quoted as saying, “To see a great white shark that close is the pinnacle of my guiding career.” Patterson also caught and released 3 mako sharks and 8 blue sharks over the course of his two-day fishing trip with Bowman.
It’s refreshing to see a news article about a white shark without any references to Jaws, monsters, killers, etc. It’s also refreshing to read about responsible fishermen respecting the sharks that they’ve caught and safely releasing them back to their environment. In fact, upon visiting Bowman Bluewater’s website, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they are sponsoring a catch and release mako tournament in which the proceeds of the tournament will go to the Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Casting for Recovery. The proceeds donated to the Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research will be used for research on Southern California mako sharks.