Eddie Carroll, a Madison local and avid angler, had an unexpected experience during a fishing trip on his paddleboard. Initially targeting Blue Fish for a tournament, he ended up hooking onto a Brown Shark, an encounter he was unprepared for.
Growing up in Madison, Eddie developed a passion for fishing on Long Island Sound. His love for paddleboarding and fishing led him to spend considerable time on the water.
The fishing tournament spanned two days, with Eddie aiming for a larger Blue Fish on the second day. He used a Porgy fish as bait to attract a bigger catch.
Launching from Middle Beach Road, Eddie ventured towards Tuxis Island and Hammonasset Beach State Park.
Eddie’s familiarity with fishing in the Sound made him comfortable on his paddleboard, as shark encounters are rare.
Paul Copleman from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection identified the caught shark as a female sandbar or Brown Shark. Coastal shark populations have suffered due to overfishing, but conservation efforts are gradually aiding their recovery.
Initially, Eddie mistook the Brown Shark for a large Blue Fish or Striped Bass due to its powerful pull. The shark’s consistent strength surprised him.
The encounter lasted about an hour, from hooking the shark to its release. Eddie’s videos documented the event, but he decided to cut the line as he lacked proper equipment to handle the powerful shark.
Sharks play a vital role in marine ecosystems as keystone species. Eddie sees their return to the Sound as a positive sign and hopes people will respect their presence.
Though exhausted by the ordeal, Eddie paddled back to shore, ending his day of fishing.
Sharks, including Brown Sharks, are migratory and play a key role in maintaining the balance of the marine ecosystem. They predominantly feed on fish like menhaden, an essential species.
Eddie’s unexpected encounter highlighted the captivating and sometimes unpredictable nature of fishing on Long Island Sound.