8/22 Kew’s Corner: Central California’s Latest Shark Story

So it’s late August, the northern hemisphere’s summer twilight. Only a month until autumn’s glorious equinox; Labor Day is in sight, and soon the tourist riffraff and their huge toy-haulers will return to their Bakersfields and Sacramentos, while students young and old will be reshackled to those cold, bleak classroom desks.

Oh, the pity.

But with it comes the notion that, yes, late summer and early fall are primo for shark festivities in ultra-sharky Central and Northern California. The warm, clear weather, mild seas, and anadromous fish runs (don’t surf at estuaries or rivermouths, folks) are all things white sharks really enjoy.

Lollygagging at home yesterday, I received an e-mail from a friend regarding a fisherman’s encounter on Saturday at a secret surf spot I’m quite familiar with:

“So I meet a nice boat coming back late into the harbor yesterday evening; they’d been off (*spot name revealed for $2 million, cash*) all day fishing. The guy says that about noon, he’s pulling a huge rock cod to the transom to boat it. As the fish breaks the surface, up from underneath shoots a huge great white, which flexes its mouth wide open and takes the fish. Its mouth was large enough to put a 55-gallon barrel into it, the guy reported.

“As the great white inhales the fish, it’s maybe four feet from the guy fishing on the transom. The shark lunges up out of the water, slams hard into the boat with its entire weight, moves the boat back several feet, sprays maybe three buckets of water into the boat and all over the three crewmen, and slips back down under the water with the rock cod.

“It freaked these guys out, and they had to sit down for a bit and try to get it together.

“So, surfing at (*spot named revealed for $2 million, cash*)? Well, I didn’t need a fisherman to tell me there were great whites out in that area. Of course they’re out there–they’re everywhere–but it does make one stop and think.

“When I told the guy that we surf there, he gave me a look of horror, like, ‘Are you crazy? That place is death.’

“Anyway, just something to put in the back of your brain.

Beautiful, ain’t it? The food chain still works, especially at secret spots.

Just glad I wasn’t that rock cod.

Happy surfing–south swell is on its way!

Questions or comments? Send them to surf@twsnet.com.