In 2008 I was attacked by a 6 foot thresher shark off the shores of Point Loma.  This is my story.

It was Spring time and lobster season had just ended, which means back to spear fishing.  I go out at around 2pm after my classes and get in the water in an area the surfers of PLNU call “garbage” I can agree with the name because there is a 25-35 foot channel that collects all the kelp and sea grass as well as trash and anything else that has been claimed by the big blue ocean.  This is also one of my favorite spots to fish because of the calico bass that seem to hang out there.

Well today was not such a good day at first.  I spent 2 hours in the water with absolutely no luck seeing any fish close enough to get a shot on.  4:30pm comes around and as the sun begins to set and the waves begin to settle I spot a nice full grown bass, I quickly take a shot and nail the sucker right in the gill BAM!  As soon as I get him of the spear and in the bag and my gun reloaded another bass swims by and BAM two full grown Calicos.  So now I got two in the bag and I’m just getting started when a third full grown just swims up to me to say hello.  So I say hello back by shooting him in the face with my spear BAM!  Three huge fish in the back, I’m gonna eat well tonight.  It is not 5:30pm and light is getting dim and the water was getting murky.  I told myself that I would catch one more before I I’m done.  So as I am swimming waiting for another fish to roll up on.

BAM!  Something as hard as a baseball bat hit me right in the leg where my fish bag was, I felt my leg numb quickly to the pain.  As I turned to look at what happened I was pulled under water and my bag was being pulled by a 6 foot thresher shark.  He was thrashing the bag AND EATING MY FISH, WHAT A TOOL!  So I did the first think I always do to fish big or small.  I shot him right in the gill and immediately he began to thrash like crazy.  My bag got torn off my waist and as the shark began to swim away I was pulled under water about ten feet before the line on my gun snapped.  I took a breath and dove right back down.  My thought was completely on getting back my spear.  I watched as the shark would thrash all the way down to the bottom of garbage and then back to the top.  I grabbed the spear rod that was in the shark’s gill and pulled the beast close to get a grip on it.  It was pure muscle, incredibly strong animal.  As I grappled around the head my right hand felt a very sharp pain.  My pinky finger had slipped into the shark’s mouth and he had bit down slicing right through my gloves and into my finger.  I let go and watch the shark with my spear still attached swim into the murky trash collection along the bottom.  He got away!  I spent another 15 minutes trying to find my bag but now it dark and I my adrenaline rush was subsiding.  I swam back to shore with no fish, a broken gun, and a nice flesh wound; but with an awesome story to tell my roommates.  The next day I went to the shore to see if the shark had died and washed up, but there was no sight of him.  To this day I still believe he is alive swimming around with a three foot rod hanging out of his gill.  He probably has a cool story to tell his roommates too.

Later that week I bought a much bigger and better gun.

Sean Trank

I’m still diving.

shark attack fishing Point Loma Scuba Spearfishing diving reef ocean sharks calico bass


One response »

  1. Wow. There aren’t words to say how cool that is. Although I really do hope the shark lived.

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