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Shark Challenge coming to Cape Harbour

Anglers looking to ‘fish like a rock star’ sought for local tourney

June 2, 2011

Anglers up for the challenge of catching a shark in the Gulf of Mexico can now register for the “Are You Man Enough Shark Challenge 5," brought to you by Suzuki Outboards and the Boat Place” tournament.

Captain Jack Donlon said the shark challenge is a two-day fishing competition that seeks out the top five the first day, so they can come back the following day for a sudden death finale.

Registration for the tournament, which will be held June 24-26, is $550 for any team and vessel size. To register, visit the event website at or call 239-542-9777.

Donlon said the most unique part about the tournament is that the teams takes a cell phone video of the shark while catching it and send that video back to the SharkFest, so attendees can watch the catch on a stadium-size screen that sits more than 40 feet high.

“We have done this in years past and it is unique,” Donlon said. “It’s all the thrill without all the kill. It is very exciting for the crowd to see the shark and for us to let the shark go.”

The tournament, he explained, is “fishing like a rockstar” due to audience that will be watching the excitement of the catch on the jumbo screen at Cape Harbour Marina.

Seventy sharks were caught last year ranging from 4 feet, which is the minimum size, to 14 feet. Donlon said the anglers are allowed to fish everywhere in the Gulf, which typically ranges from 2 feet to 100 feet of water.

It does not matter how far they go out, he said, as long as they are back at the marina with one foot on the dock by 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 25.

This time of year, bull sharks, hammerheads and black tips are the most common sharks caught. The shark, Donlon said, is the single most exciting fish on the entire planet to catch.

Donlon added the sudden death finale is something that is not done anywhere else, which makes it unique. He said the top five teams go out on Sunday morning, June 26, and try to catch a total of 16 feet of shark — in any combination of sizes — as fast as they can.

One point is awarded to the team for each foot of shark caught. Once a team reaches that goal, the tournament is complete and they win the grand prize. As soon as the first team catches a 4-foot shark, Donlon said, they are in the tournament and only have to catch enough shark to equal 12 more feet.

For those who do not fish, the event will include on-shore activities as well.



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