Whether intentional or accidental, sharks do take fishermen's bait on Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. However, it is important for fishermen to know which species are prohibited and the best method for reeling these large fish onto the tall pier.
Amanda Nalley, spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, said fishermen had a hard decision to make when they realized they had a large species on the other end of the line. If the fishermen choose to pull the fish all the way to the top of the pier, they run the risk of killing a prohibited species even if they plan to return the catch to the waters.
“We recommend not lifting them out of the water at all because it puts too much pressure on their internal body,” Nalley said.
Some Navarre Beach goers have complained to county commissioners about fishermen walking their hooked line all the way from the end of the pier to the shore in order to catch a large shark. Their concern is that it isn’t safe to guide a shark into shallow waters where swimmers are located.
However, Nalley said the fishermen’s method may be the best suited for such a situation because it would increase the shark’s survival rate.
For the complete story, see the June 14 issue of Navarre Press or subscribe online.