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The One-Half That Got Away: Texas City Kayaking Angler Loses Fishing Duel With a Shark

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Tony Maples Photography


You normally hear tall tales about “the one that got away” from anglers, but in this case, it was the one-half that got taken away – by a shark. Veteran Texas kayak fisherman, William Swann, was practicing for the Texas Bluewater Kayak Classic when the Texas City man came up against a different sort of competition.

While fishing off South Padre Island, Swann picked up a bonito on the line (a large mackerel-like fish) and while trying to reel it in, he spied a shark swimming close by. This wouldn’t seem all that unusual, however it was closer to the kayaking angler than normal. In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Swann said, “I’ve been kayaking offshore for a while so it’s normal for me to see sharks and to catch them…This was the first time one had blown up the surface right next to me.”

Swann, who produces videos for his own Blue Dog kayak fishing YouTube channel, posted this video on June 8, and the story has since been picked up not only by the Houston Chronicle, but also the Dallas Morning News. After a time of trying to reel in the bonito, Swann realized that the shark was trawling for a piece of the pie…’er fish. “I could feel the head shakes that always give away that a shark is on the line,” he said. Eventually, he successfully reeled in his catch, but all that remained on the hook was a half a bonito. Not quite a “whole”-y mackerel. After the moment had passed, Swann said he had to “pause and appreciate the moment” he had just experienced, further noting, “after I processed what just happened, I kept on fishing.”


Houston Chronicle

Dallas Morning News