Shark-eating fish caught, just ounces short of world record

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Everyone knows that sharks eat fish. But do fish eat sharks? Apparently one aggressive predatory fish species in San Diego includes sharks in their regular diet.

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  • We know that because an SDFish.com member was cleaning a giant shortfin corvina he caught in Mission Bay and discovered a belly full of partially digested juvenile sharks (scroll down to see the photographic proof).

    Forum member ‘jklee92117’ was inspired to begin fishing for corvina after reading our recently published article “San Diego Bay’s most exciting sportfish; shortfin corvina“. He outfitted himself with the tackle recommended in the article, a 7′ medium action rod with a baitcasting reel and 10 pound line, and a Lucky Craft Pointer 115 and headed to Mission Bay.

    He was rewarded with his first ever shortfin corvina, and in true “beginner’s luck” his first corvina was of world-class size. After unsuccessfully attempting to release the fish, he took the fish to nearby Dana Landing to weigh, where it settled the scale at 10 pounds even – just 6 ounces shy of the IGFA All Tackle World Record caught in June of 2008 on San Diego Bay.

    Like any responsible angler who has a fish die while trying to release, ‘jklee92117’ took the fish home to clean and eat. While cleaning, he made the interesting discovery that its bulging belly was due to having 3 partially digested juvenile sharks in it’s stomach. Because of their condition, it’s difficult to tell exactly what kind of sharks these are, but they appear to be leopard sharks.

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  • After showing the photos to Lyall Bellquist, a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, he was surprised, “nobody is currently conducting local research on corvina, but it is very unusual for any fish species to eat juvenile sharks. The fact that these were found in a corvina is very surprising!”

    As Bellquist stated, not much is known about the local corvina fishery in terms of science. Most of the conclusions drawn about corvina are made due to their close relation to white seabass, which have been studied extensively. Bellquist has plans to conduct studies on the shortfin corvina, but has yet to pull permits. He has been conducting an important tagging survey for the local calico bass fishery, and is highly regarded among local sportfishermen.

    The fish was caught at 6 am. As stated in the article, periods of low light (both dawn and dusk) are prime feeding times for corvina. The angler took the tips from the article, applied them, and discovered just how special this fishery is. He also recognizes the importance of catch and release for the corvina fishery, and has since caught several more corvina that were all successfully released.

    “Corvina are closely related to white seabass, and we know that seabass need to be handled with great care if they’re going to be released. Corvina are probably similar,” Bellquist added.

    Like many local anglers, he had no idea this type of fish was available right in our local bays, “it (the catch) was awesome, I thought I was about to have a heart attack, I had no idea anything lived in Mission Bay that big and hit lures that hard.” And that folks is exactly why we consider the shortfin corvina the bay’s most exciting sportfish.

    To get outfitted for the local corvina fishery, see one of our awesome sdfish.com sponsors and supporters;

    See the original forum thread about this catch: “shortfiin action“.

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    2 Comments

    1. Thats a huge shortfin. The ones ive caught and have seen my friends catch were maybe up to 18-20″ max. Thats a real trophy. Doesnt surprise me that itd eat baby leopard or smoothhound sharks… I mean why not?

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