I went fishing with Mark the Shark recently off of Miami Beach. I was there for a friend’s bachelor party and we were all pretty excited to go shark fishing. I am originally from Florida and have been out with numerous fishing guides both inshore and offshore. Never before have I had an experience like I had with Mark the Shark. First I’ll cover the fishing aspect, which I realize this is somewhat out of his control. We specifically said we wanted to target sharks and I was under the impression most of the time chum is involved. Both other times when I went shark fishing chum was involved. He stated that wasn’t the case. I’m no expert so I went with the flow. We did not end up catching a shark but did catch a large amberjack, which was all we caught for the whole day. I have been on boats before and have not caught anything so, just based on pure fishing I would rate this is slightly below average.
But what was completely ridiculous was Mark and his firstmate’s blatant disregard for the ocean and I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as an environmentalist. After leaving the marina and being about half a mile from shore we are sitting on the upper deck of the boat drinking beer. We ask Mark where the garbage can was and he told us to give him our beer cans. We oblige and he takes them and throws them overboard. We were in shock. Throughout the rest of the trip Mark and his mate used the ocean as their personal garbage can. Old fishing line, lead weights and hooks all were disposed of by throwing them overboard.
Next comes to the fish, while one of us was fighting the fish, I ask what kind of fish he thought it was, his response was dreadful…”Whatever it is, we’re going to kill it” We told him that we didn’t want to keep any fish because we were not planning on doing any cooking during the bachelor party. Didn’t matter to them. When the fish came up the mate brings out his kill gaff and unnecessarily gaffs the fish in the back. We didn’t really say anything at that point because what was done was done. I asked him if they were planning on eating the fish and they said no, and that amberjacks of this size have worms in them and you don’t want to eat them. If we had no plans to eat the fish and they didn’t either they were needlessly killing a fish.
Most fishing guides I have been out with realize that that every fish they kill means one less fish they can catch in the future, but Mark was oblivious to this point. He also thought that using his workplace (the ocean) as his personal garbage can was a good idea as well. I have told this story to some guides I have been out with since then and they were just as shocked as I initially was. I highly recommend looking elsewhere for a guide.