ASSATEAGUE – A group of
veteran surf anglers who developed and patented an unconventional casting
system, largely on Assateague Island, are now putting the invention to good use
as part of a federal shark tagging program.
For the last few years,
veteran surf fisherman Dan Triano and his Far Out Fishin’ crew have been
landing big sharks from the beach at Assateague using a unique casting system
that allows them to launch their baits several hundred yards offshore, much
further then they could possible reach with traditional surf casting rods.
They developed the Shore
Shot Bait Caster system a few years ago while fishing on Assateague, largely
out of frustration with not being able to reach beyond the surf and sandbars
where the big fish are.
Triano and his partner,
Doug Osenbach, patented the bait-casting system and are now in the process of
marketing it all over the world. The system relies on compressed air to launch
bait and sinker combinations as far as 300 yards offshore. The system uses a
traditional surf rod with the tackle connected to the launching system.
Using durable plastic
molds similar to ice cube trays, the bait and sinker are frozen together and
launched hundreds of yards out into the ocean. When the frozen bait-sinker
combo hits the water, it thaws and separates, putting the tackle much farther
out than a traditional surf cast allows.
Based in Pennsylvania,
the company developed the product on the beaches at Assateague, and Triano and
his crew often return to the barrier island to take advantage of the great surf
fishing it offers. Now, the Far Out Fishin’ crew has joined a collaborative
effort in tagging sharks of all species and size as part of the National Marine
Fisheries Service (NMFS) shark tagging program.
“My team is happy to be
part of this project,” said Triano this week. “We’re in Assateague almost every
weekend and catch anywhere from five to 15 sharks regularly, so we can help the
cause a lot. We’re excited to help out in any way we can.”
NMFS’ Cooperative Shark
Tagging Program (CSTP) is part of continuing research directed at the study of
the biology of large Atlantic sharks. Data from the tagging program provides
valuable information on migration and the extent of fish movements. The CSTP is
also an important means to increase their biological understanding of sharks
and to obtain information for rational resource management. The tagging of
sharks provides information on stock identity, movements and migration, age and
growth, mortality and behavior.