Frank Breaux never hooked up with a redfish during a recent kayak scouting trip for Ride the Bull VI in Caminada Pass, but that didn’t stop him from getting a ‘Cajun Sleigh Ride,’ anyway.
The 54-year-old Des Allemands angler connected with a 5-foot shark that provided a souped-up ride for his 14-foot Hobie Pro Angler for about half an hour Sunday morning.
“It was definitely an experience,” said Breaux, who owns the First Cast convenience store in Cut Off. “He was pulling me around pretty good. I had an anchor out, too, and he was dragging me with the anchor.
“He was definitely taking out some drag. I could feel my reel starting to get hot.”
Breaux got in the water off Elmer’s Island around 6:15 that morning with his son Dustin, his brother Greg and coworker Andre Baudouin. All of them except Greg — who was fishing in the surf — are registered for Ride the Bull VI, which is slated for Saturday, Aug. 15 out of Bridge Side Marina on Grand Isle.
“We were trying to find some spots where the redfish are passing and feeding in shallow areas, but it seemed like all that was biting was sharks,” he said.
Breaux estimated he was about 150 yards from the corner of Elmer’s Island when the shark hooked up mid-morning on the edge of the pass. He was fishing a Carolina rig with 50-pound braid and a homemade steel leader in about 15 feet of water, and first thought the fish was a jack crevalle.
“I was kind of out there by myself. Andre and Dustin were there, but we went in different spots. I cut a mullet up and threw it out there, and it wasn’t on the bottom for maybe 30 seconds and it took off,” Breaux said. “All I could hear was the drag going out. I was just hollering for Andre to come back to try to help me because I knew it was something big — I just wasn’t sure what it was.
“When the shark finally came to the surface and I could see him, Andre had come close to me, and I was tired. It had been about 15 minutes, so I handed him the pole and let him reel a little while, then we started going toward the bank with it.”
About 30 minutes after the initial hook set, Breaux said they finally landed the shark on Elmer’s Island.
“We got him on the beach, and a bunch of people that were around there came and started taking pictures,” Breaux said. “Right after that, we cut the leader and drug him back into knee-deep water, revived him a little bit and he swam off.”
Breaux hooked up with two more sharks that morning, but the 5-footer was the biggest one. The group caught three nice speckled trout early on in the surf, but the scouting mission for bull reds turned up empty.
“We though it was going to be great because right when we got there, we all hooked up with specks,” he said. “Then after that it pretty much all shut down quick.
“I hate when you catch a fish on your first cast, because it seems like you won’t catch one after that.”
No matter what happens bite-wise on Aug. 15, Breaux and his Ride the Bull teammates are looking forward to another great day.
“We go out there for the fun of it, if nothing else,” he said. “It’s always a good time with family.”