Like many shark fishermen, I started catching sharks while targeting other species. Once introduced to the shark I wanted to catch them. I remember hoping for a shark to hit when I was a child trolling the off shore rigs for kings. The pup sharks under a popping cork always gave a fight greater than the equivalent speckled trout and while bull red fishing, the scream of my Penn 209 always seemed to sound a little different when a shark took the bait. The addiction came when they got too big for my tackle and after being spooled and broke off a time or two, I decided it was time to upgrade and it was then that I realized I was actually targeting sharks and had been wanting to my whole life but never quite willing to admit it I guess, It’s weird to me, seems so many people are in the same boat... Can you remember saying, “What if we caught a shark?” as a child?
Once I realized this forgotten desire, I had to progress; trying some crazy stuff, spending evenings on the beach with folks that have been Shark Fishing for a decade was humbling… finally, I learned ‘back to basics’ and so, my company catch phrase was born, “Our leaders combine new innovative ideas with proven old timer ways…” I did learn that, for the most part, we are all constantly learning. There are some masters of this sport but, I’m not one of them. I’m just a guy who loves to catch big fish and I’m doing all I can to promote that in my life. I am a free spirited and prosperity minded person and I firmly believe it is sometimes better to get new twice as often then to get one that last twice as long.
In the summer of 1985, I stayed at a rented beach house in Jamaica Beach on Galveston Island. I caught my first ‘real shark' on a Penn 309. I was 12 years old. At this point, I was just fishing. I wasn’t targeting sharks, I was just putting whatever bait I had in the water for whatever would eat it.
It was the summer of 1990 when I first fished with a family friend named Paul, a veteran sharker. This was in the pre kayak era, baits were paddled out on a windsurf board. This was the first trip I can remember exclusively targeting sharks.
In the early summer of 2006 I had purchased some bulk materials and was distributing the material and leaders I had made among my friends, not for profit or even cash, mostly just bartering meals or bait deployments on the beach. By late summer, I had friends of friends wanting leaders and sometimes strangers on the beach would ask to purchase a couple. It was at this time that I was considering the possibility of a small business. By the fall I had my first distributor, ‘The Rusty Hook’ on the west end of Galveston Island.
In 2007 I launched CatchSharks.com as the first heavy terminal tackle online store devoted to shark fishing. It was just a simple e commerce store. I was excited and motivated. As the first online hub for heavy leader materials in the USA, I was selling materials in the smaller quantities that a fisherman might need to build a few leaders and I had my leaders for sale in many of the bait camps and tackle shops in Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula with big plans to grow.
In 2008 I started the design of a new website with more media and distributor promotions available on the site. In the fall, Hurricane Ike devastated the upper Texas coast. The tackle shops and bait camps that I called distributors were gone.
In 2009 I launched the new website CatchSharks version 2.0, my online sales were on the rise but I still didn’t know if many distributors would even rebuild. I decided not to pursue distributors but rather work on promotion of my online sales.
2011 was the year I caught my first Dusky shark. A cool upwelling brought pelagic species uncommonly close in mid summer, I caught the 4th documented landbased Texas Dusky in the past 20 years. My personal best at 8’10”.
In 2012, fishing together with my good friend Leon, we took second place at Sharkathon with the second largest shark and in addition, caught a total of 4 sharks which was twice as many as anyone else in the tournament.
In 2014, CatchSharks.com version 3.0 launched as the water temps began to rise to fishable levels along the Texas coast. In early summer, I caught my first Texas Tiger at 8'6". The year finished strong with my team taking 4th in the Texas Shark Rodeo and I took 5th in the individual Angler Standings (determined by most inches) to reestablish CatchSharks.com as the real for fishermen by fishermen provider of heavy terminal tackle.
In 2015, I joined the distinguished ’13 foot Club’. My “Unlucky Feline” is the largest land based Texas Tiger caught in perhaps 30 years, a colossal achievement. More notable, it holds the title of Texas’ largest land based shark ever tagged and released .
I finished out in the top 10 again, taking 7th place (most inches) in the Texas Shark Rodeo continuing to prove CatchSharks.com is the top producer among shark tackle providers.