The 3rd Blacktip Challenge All-Release, Land-Based Shark Fishing Tournament will be held February 24th - 27th on Florida's east coast. ‘
Land-Based Shark Fishing’ is defined as ‘Attempting to capture sharks using a rod, reel, line, and hooks from the land or anything attached to it. For example: a beach, jetty, pier or bridge.
Tournament Creator & Director, Josh Jorgensen, is an avid and lifelong angler from Canada who's also a staunch proponent of conservation-minded fishing. After catching the shark bug, he put on his first Blacktip Challenge in 2008. It was well attended and received, but before it was over, he was already thinking about ways to take it all just a little bit further. That's when my brother Brooks and I received a call.
After some productive and like-minded discussions, we worked directly with Josh to expand the 2009 tournament beyond the increasingly popular ‘CPR’ (or catch, photograph & release) format he promoted in 2008 with added steps to qualify catches that included measurement taking for use in estimated weight formulas, and most notably, the application of conventional research-tracking tags, prior to the release of all animals back to the wild. After re-writing the rules to include not only these requirements but to include step-by-step instructions for the proper tagging, documentation and release of sharks, we joined him and Thomas Kieras as Co-Tournament Directors and Research Coordinators.
On location, the Paxton Brothers document one of many blacktip sharks released in the BTC
For this weeklong event, Brooks and I ditched the fishing gear and took on another familiar role as cameramen and producers. In a partnership with Josh, we set out to capture not only the expected amped-up, expeditionary fishing action, but the more important story behind all that salt spray and adrenalin.
In this case, we shot a purely authentic example of passionate sportsmen and women pursuing their long-established and unique angling style in an organized competitive event while promoting a spirit of responsibility and respect for the environment. Being from this close-knit angling community, it came as no surprise to us. Links to video segments below.
We're proud of our close collaborations with people like Josh because he's doing something important. In this case, answering a growing demand from recreational anglers at an important time.
Although, not the first, he's one of a few standout trendsetters to come along in recent years that has taken careful steps to maintain and preserve the integrity of a sport enjoyed by many, while taking even bigger strides to ensure the responsible handling and release of all sharks caught and released; all the while taking opportunistic steps to make valuable scientific contributions.
Brooks and I know first-hand that's one hell of a juggling act to think about, let alone pull off, but when its recognized and accepted, it's worth it. Never a dull moment, but worth it, nonetheless. -stp-
VIDEO AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: