Fishing for sharks at night from the beach

While Dorothy and I took an evening walk on the beach, we saw some fishermen. It’s not the first night that we’ve seen them. The beach is illuminated by huge flood lights on top of the hotel. We went over to talk to them to find out that they were fishing for sharks at night from the beach.

Fishing for sharks from the Palm Beach, FL beach at night
The fisherman knee deep in the surf reeling in the shark. Larry Shapiro photo

There were a dozen or so hotel guests and party goers watching them from the hotel and when we walked up they had a shark on the line. The battle lasted over 20 minutes before the fisherman was able to haul in what had to be a shark that was longer than four feet and weighed a good 40-50 pounds.

grabbing a shark along the beach at night
Friends of the fisherman wade into the shallow water to grab the shark. Larry Shapiro photo

At one point during the show, hotel security appeared on the beach to disperse us … siting our safety on the beach and informing us that we weren’t allowed on the beach at night (despite┬áthe huge flood lights and the fact that no signage with such restrictions exist).

When the fishermen told the hotel security that the public has access to beaches anywhere in the state of Florida below “the mean high tide line”, security seemed to back down and wanted to wait and let the fishermen reel in the shark. Mysteriously, the flood lights all went off not long thereafter … and the fishermen had flashlights and I had a bit more difficulty in finding something to focus on for pictures.

fishermen at night after catching a shark from the beach
Preparing to pose for the obligatory record photo with their catch. Larry Shapiro photo
fishermen pose at night after catching a shark from the beach
The proud fishermen pose with their catch before releasing it back in to the ocean. Larry Shapiro photo

Not surprisingly, it wasn’t long before additional hotel personnel arrived and then a police officer (might have been a parks officer of some sort) that was overly agitated now about the use of any type of light, claiming that it was nesting season for turtles and we were all endangering the turtles … evidently the massive flood lights had no effect.

Regardless, my hope is that my presence with a camera did not upset the balance thereby attracting the attention of hotel security in the first place as the fishermen appeared to have been there for some time prior to my arrival without being accosted.

My congratulations on an excellent catch, and apologies if they are due.