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Nice wind, attack fish, man-o-war, sharks and other sea pests?

Lots have probably seen lifeguards post on their stands under "Sea Pests" recently, "man-o-war and sharks." Well, they have a point I guess.

About 2 seconds before things got interesting. The GoPro was firing still shots every 2 seconds making time keeping pretty easy.

Anyway was out today in some nice wind with a brand new Crossbow 13 m eating up some nice wind for a change. The kite performed marvelously, really stoked on this kite. I had ridden out about 3/8 of a mile and saw a weed line. I looked around for evidence of feeding fish, bait kicking up, diving birds, shark fins, etc.. Didn't see anything and so went across it. I turned around and headed back towards the beach when within about 10 seconds I saw something jump out of the water flying right towards me.

I was hoping I caught something on my GoPro and amazingly lucked out right about the time the fish launched towards me. Thinking he might have gotten interested when I first passed over the weedline.

A cropped closeup of the above image in normal form and as a negative to improve definition.

Only got a one second or so image but thought it might be a small 2 to 2 1/2 ft. spinner shark or mackerel. Next thing, BANG into the board and I am pitched into the water. Well, if it was a shark, there are likely others and my board is a good distance away. Not my favorite body dragging venue.

Two seconds later ... this!

Two more seconds and time to get the board, hoping nothing nails me as I recover it and water start.

So, I got to the board body dragging as quietly as I could, went to water start when I saw some spray kick up about 15 ft. away with some blood in it?! Things keep getting better. I don't know if I cut the fish that collided with me and something else hit it like a shark, another one of these guys hit some invisible bait or ?

So, I launch and book into shore a good clip thinking weed lines are not a good place to hang out during shark migrations. On the beach, I still wasn't certain if it was a shark or not. I saw several real little spinners like that from the Lake Worth pier a few days back. I headed back, electing not to go near the weedline and had no more incidents for the next couple of hours. I did see one spinner shark jump and spin about a 1/4 mile south and flocks of feeding gulls about 3/8 mile offshore but that was about it. I resolved to stay away from normal signs of feeding. I had already given up on riding with dozens of visible spinner sharks based on what showed up in a video shot from a kite recently, untoward interest in kiters. A bunch of larger man-o-war had showed up nearshore and on the beach within the hour as well. Didn't get hit by any of those guys, second day in a row too.

I was thinking with our combined approach speed, a shark might have done some nasty damage just from impact alone to my leg. If the teeth were involved, worse still of course. First time I have heard of a kiter being hit by a mackerel or whatever this thing is. Houndfish, needle fish have pierced both kiters and windsurfers in the past. Still not sure what this fish was, other than it isn't a spinner. Michael has suggested it might be a bluefin tuna, Brian a blackfin tuna. It does resemble both fish from illustrations online.

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Posted: February 14, 2011 at 08:24 AM
By: John Bryja

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