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Old 06-03-2018, 10:50 AM   #1
JamesF123
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7 Gill Charge @LJ

Hey all,
I just had a pretty scary encounter with a 7 gill at La Jolla and I want to know what I did wrong or how I could avoid that in the future. So me and my buddy were shorediving off the childrenís pool seawall in half decent vis. I shot a nice calico that proceeded to tangle itself up in the kelp real bad which made us have to stick around for like 10 minutes trying to get it out. After, my dive partner took a shot and hit a decent sheepshead. Literally 5 seconds after the shot I looked down and saw a fairly small like 6-7 foot 7 gill pass under us. I know they usually are peaceful so I just kept an eye on it. Since my partner had just shot the fish so it was on his shaft I was kinda worried but not too much. 5 seconds later the shark just charged up at my buddy not even at his fish and came straight up at him. We both punched its nose and it went back down and swam away. I thought the smartest thing to do was not try to get the fish and bring it close to us and throw it away so we started swimming back to shore. About 5 minutes later the shark had ****ig followed us and was alternating between trying to get the sheep from the shaft and checking out our fins. We kicked it away with our fins and it followed us sort of going at our fins and fish alternately until it was too shallow. We were both fine with no bites and the calico was obv banged up but still the scary part was when it charged not at the fish but straight up at us. Iím not sure if we did the right things. We didnít have any time really to try to throw the fish away bc I didnít want for either of us to bring it to our body with the shark following. Iím fairly sure we did the right thing to fight it off, but it was rattling bc I know seven gills are usually peaceful. Anyway if anyone has advice, comments, or wants to buy a shitstained wetsuit pls lmk.
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Old 06-03-2018, 12:57 PM   #2
Marcus
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Re: 7 Gill Charge @LJ


A struggling fish is shark bait all day long. Get it quickly into your domicile. Before, in between, afterwards maintain dominance. Have the poking ability, I prefer a mounted spear shaft on the end of my gun, even if you've fired your shooting shaft. Swim at the shark and poke the HELL out of him to make sure he knows who's the alpha. Know the right places to poke and don't be gentle. Maintain dominant posture. Don't be a girly man. If you feed them, they'll know you as such.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:28 PM   #3
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Re: 7 Gill Charge @LJ

Had a couple similar encounters this year.

Shot a sheephead in the kelp this winter and while it was holed up a long sevengill swam below us first, then, later, right behind me as I was trying to get the fish out of the hole. Not having my speargun with me, it was a pretty scary experience being face to face with it. The shark turned away but I pulled the line from the cave without attempting to recover the fish any longer. It was crazy how quickly the shark appeared in response to he wounded fish.

Last weekend while in the kelp again I had about a 6' soupfin come check me out. I just observed at first as he swam by but when he appeared again later I gave him a short jab, which startled him. I thought that would be the end of it but he appeared two other times before I was able to give him a really good jab that sent him away for good. I didn't have any fish on me and thought it was strange how curious he was.

With our "pussy" la jolla sharks I think jabbing them from the beginning is the best way to send the message. Not sure if that applies to other species. Luckily sevengills and soupfins teeth would probably have a hard time getting past a wetsuit, even if they did get aggressive.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:48 PM   #4
Marcus
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Re: 7 Gill Charge @LJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukebiker View Post
Had a couple similar encounters this year.

Shot a sheephead in the kelp this winter and while it was holed up a long sevengill swam below us first, then, later, right behind me as I was trying to get the fish out of the hole. Not having my speargun with me, it was a pretty scary experience being face to face with it. The shark turned away but I pulled the line from the cave without attempting to recover the fish any longer. It was crazy how quickly the shark appeared in response to he wounded fish.

Last weekend while in the kelp again I had about a 6' soupfin come check me out. I just observed at first as he swam by but when he appeared again later I gave him a short jab, which startled him. I thought that would be the end of it but he appeared two other times before I was able to give him a really good jab that sent him away for good. I didn't have any fish on me and thought it was strange how curious he was.

With our "pussy" la jolla sharks I think jabbing them from the beginning is the best way to send the message. Not sure if that applies to other species. Luckily sevengills and soupfins teeth would probably have a hard time getting past a wetsuit, even if they did get aggressive.

Hmmm...just because they're not toothy doesn't mean they're not a threat. We have reef dwellers here in Florida that most would consider harmless, given their toothless perception, yet they are statistically the most dangerous to divers along with Jewfish. I've had them steal my fish from my stringer. Since then, I make a 'point' of driving them away when I'm hunting on a reef.
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:50 PM   #5
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Re: 7 Gill Charge @LJ

...Initially, pushing them off might be better than a strong jab, as several divers have lost hands after they poked sharks hard and the shark reacted by snapping around suddenly and biting the closest "threat" within reach...depends on the size of the shark and how aggressive he is...
...I shot a 9' plus blue between the eyes at point blank range after he charged straight up at me from 200' down off Santa Cruz island. Didn't want to get caught on the surface, so, I dove and charged him. It did no good and my 3/8" five foot shaft didn't even clear the gun as it nailed him a good one...but, I always carry a big gun due to the possibility of a jumbo confrontation out in blue water (Been there, done that)…
...With the increase in great whites on the coast and since they have grown larger than last year, I now keep my long gun with me, even when shallow diving......I think it was Teddy Roosevelt who said, "Walk soft and carry a big stick".....
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:29 PM   #6
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Re: 7 Gill Charge @LJ

Great story! Have you ever carried a power head? Having one to slip on your shaft if things get squirrely is nice.
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Old 06-04-2018, 12:07 AM   #7
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Re: 7 Gill Charge @LJ

The problem with power heads is water leakage into the primer area, despite sealing with nail polish or a sealant...more than one diver has ended up mismatched when the powerhead didn't go off......I machined one but, finally put it away in my tool box and built a larger gun....
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:02 AM   #8
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Re: 7 Gill Charge @LJ

That's why you don't use a load for more than a couple dives. Even if it doesn't go off, the hit from it usually deters them and you keep your shaft.
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:35 AM   #9
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Re: 7 Gill Charge @LJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukebiker View Post
Had a couple similar encounters this year.

Shot a sheephead in the kelp this winter and while it was holed up a long sevengill swam below us first, then, later, right behind me as I was trying to get the fish out of the hole. Not having my speargun with me, it was a pretty scary experience being face to face with it. The shark turned away but I pulled the line from the cave without attempting to recover the fish any longer. It was crazy how quickly the shark appeared in response to he wounded fish.

Last weekend while in the kelp again I had about a 6' soupfin come check me out. I just observed at first as he swam by but when he appeared again later I gave him a short jab, which startled him. I thought that would be the end of it but he appeared two other times before I was able to give him a really good jab that sent him away for good. I didn't have any fish on me and thought it was strange how curious he was.

With our "pussy" la jolla sharks I think jabbing them from the beginning is the best way to send the message. Not sure if that applies to other species. Luckily sevengills and soupfins teeth would probably have a hard time getting past a wetsuit, even if they did get aggressive.

Wake up call guys. Hate to break it to you but soupfin have plenty enough teeth to jack you up. And 7 gill have gnarly jagged teeth. Spike teeth on the top jaw so you canít pull away and a huge muscular bottom jaw with wide saw blade teeth. Scary mouths to say the least.
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Old 06-04-2018, 11:39 AM   #10
darian
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Re: 7 Gill Charge @LJ

I had one body check me and try and steal my stringer of fish a couple months ago in Point Loma. I saw him for a couple hours before he got close, I already threw my gun in the boat and was pulling up when it hit me hard in the back. That got my attention. Jumped back in and the same one charged my buddies stringer but I was able to scare it off. He never saw the shark. Next one that gets 'friendly' I'm going shoot and steak up.
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Old 06-04-2018, 12:14 PM   #11
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Re: 7 Gill Charge @LJ

Be careful with 7 Gills. One took the head of one of my 50+ pound Sea bass in 3 seconds. Imagine the power to cut through all those heavy bones that quick. Get your fish out quickly, and get back in, don't swim around with fish on you. There is one in LJ close to 10 ft, It's a massive 7 gill.
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Old 06-04-2018, 12:47 PM   #12
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Re: 7 Gill Charge @LJ

...At this point in the game, I prefer the damage my 6" tri-edge sliptip can do, as I know it is reliable....one suggestion: if you can get a downward shot into the head, aim down the center, the same distance back from it's eyes, as the eyes are wide (a triangle). This should put the shaft into or near the walnut size brain of most sharks...It worked on the 9' blue.
...One other thing to watch out for: My blue went into a "death roll" due to the solid hit by his brain. The rapid winding of my cable around his body caused me to be pulled toward him, as the line didn't clear the reel as fast as he was rolling. This put my feet within range of his snapping teeth and I was swimming like hell to kick away from his jaws while hand pulling line off my reel as fast as my arms could move.... Many of it's teeth were broken off from biting my spearshaft... Later, I examined my heat treated stainless steel shaft and found teeth marks imbedded into the steel...pretty powerful jaws to do that!.....Evade that first rush and you have a good chance of getting out of the situation...………………………...

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Old 06-04-2018, 02:03 PM   #13
rysgates
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Re: 7 Gill Charge @LJ

One of the more important things in my opinion is to not educate the sharks like has been done in Australia and New Zealand. We don't want them to hear a dinner bell every time a gun goes off. Don't give them your fish in an attempt to be left alone. Just stay calm and vigilant and you will be ok. Same thing with those slippery sea coyotes. I find that they are the worst behaved at the spots that see a lot of divers. What does that mean??? It means that people are letting them take their fish and they have learned to get an easy meal that way. Fight for your catch and let the sharks and sea lions find their own.
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Old 06-04-2018, 05:59 PM   #14
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Re: 7 Gill Charge @LJ

...I am going to have to disagree on this one, although the theory sounds good. The dinner bell has long tolled the moment they pick up the blood trail from your fish. (Tests show they can follow a small blood trail from up to half a mile away). Small sharks...maybe...or, not....I prefer not....
....When an aggressive one is on your tail, the last thing you want to do is keep a fish on a stringer attached to your waist, especially in limited vis conditions. If the shark is determined and fast, you had better hope he doesn't miss the fish and chomp you by mistake. ( known as collateral damage by the war machine folks). Brian Donnell had a blue come up to his paddleboard in a competition and take a fish off his stringer while he was sitting on his board with the fish dangling off his waist..If the femoral artery gets severed in your arm or leg, you will bleed out within four minutes.....Fish stringers can be replaced (I keep 4 extras in my gear)....At Pukey Pt., Coronado Islands, it took two 30 lb yellowtail thrown to a large hammerhead to detour it away from Al Schneppershoff, Sr., so he could get back aboard the boat..... Feed the fishies and live to fight another day.....

In the ocean, discretion is always the better part of valor.....another useless Ballew platitude

Last edited by Bob Ballew; 06-04-2018 at 06:29 PM.
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