The first that came to mind was the 100+lb shark I hooked on one of our trips to the Bahamas a few years ago. I was fishing from the shore as the tide was rising and had cast at a couple of 30+lb sharks who were clearly hunting for bones. At low tides this particular beach was good for bones, gars and all sorts of other fish so it was no surprise that the sharks followed with the tide.
Anyway on this occasion after successfully catching bones we turned to the sharks, of which two were coming in very close to the shore. They had followed my fly but not taken it. Then I saw a dark shadow in my periphery and cast towards it, the shadow moved quickly forward and snaffled my fly in between the other two sharks. Perhaps the aggregate of fish sparked the aggressive behaviour.
This large shark then did the recognisable body shake and initially moved away steadily, thankfully giving me time to make sure the line was clear on the reel, then it bolted towards the deep ocean! It kept going, my reel spinning, with James helping me to adjust the drag, until it was max! Still the shark kept going, probably for about 250 metres or more. During this run James removed all the unnecessary fishing gear to a safe spot, including my bum bag to make sure that nothing snagged.
Eventually I felt the shark slow and I was able to take back some line. After another 20 minutes, with James’ help, I had the fish close to shore and we realised just what a monster he really was! It was evident that he would run again so we were discussing our options on tiring him out. Then the shark did a little body shake and the leader broke above the wire and I watched him swim casually away as I sunk to the sand absolutely knackered and confused as to what had happened. I never caught this shark, but did see him again on the same flat, but he never came close again.
Thankfully a few years after this I did finally hook and catch a good sized shark, approx. 70lb, but I always remember the one that got away.
What’s your most memorable fish that you hooked?