A Great White shark, about 6-feet long and estimated at 150-pounds, was caught and released by a fly-fisherman off La Jolla , Calif, on Friday. ( 7/17/09 ) It is believed to be the first Great White ever taken off the California Coast with a fly rod and single action fly reel.
Jeff Patterson , director of sales for Abel Automatics, Camarillo, manufacturer of the reel, was testing company products from a boat skippered by Conway Bowman out of San Diego when the Great White struck. Patterson cast a foot-long artificial fly tied to imitate a bleeding bonito or mackerel to the shark as it initially approached the boat. According to Patterson, “The grab was instantaneous, and the shark cooperated with a quick left turn to allow the proper hook set.” The Great White’s initial run was estimated at 275 yards. The fight lasted some 25 minutes.
The Great White was initially thought to be another Mako. It wasn’t until it came close to the boat that Bowman identified it. Patterson used a Scott 15-weight rod and Abel Super 13 reel loaded with Rio Leviathan 550 grain line and 380 yards of 50-pound gelspun backing.
Prior to the Great White, Patterson caught and released eight blue and three Mako sharks during two days of fishing. The Great White shark was landed about five miles off the beach.
Bowman released the fish at the boat after photos and weight estimate.