Reeling in the big one: Derry couple wins shark tournament
The Derry residents, who are both attorneys in the same Manchester law firm, were part of a crew from New Hampshire that competed in the 2014 Block Island Sharkfest. The crew landed a 203-pound mako shark to win first place in the mako division and take home $7,000 in prize money, Rivard said.
“For our first tournament, it was pretty incredible,” Rivard said.
Rivard wanted to give the tournament a try after watching the television show “Shark Hunters.” During a recent episode, Rivard said he studied the TV anglers’ technique and knew he could do better at reeling in the toothy fish.
In putting the crew together, Rivard said he knew Siekmann also had some shark fishing experience and loves boating.
Siekmann was selected to pilot the 28-foot boat and serve as videographer, while Rivard manned the harpoon. Also selected for the trip were Ryan Letourneau and John Richardson. They are also from New Hampshire.
“Everything that could go wrong, went wrong,” Siekmann said.
On the day they left for the tournament last week, there were problems with the boat trailer that delayed the trip, she said. And, Siekmann somehow ended up on the wrong ferry to a captains’ meeting, causing her to arrive even later to the session.
“We use huge reels,” he said. “Everything has to be perfect; it has to be oiled and the drag has to be set perfectly.”
“We get down there and I got 30 gallons of chum and gallons of fish oil and all of this stuff,” he said. “I get down there, and I forgot the bait.”
After the shark was brought up to the boat, it was gaffed, harpooned and secured immediately outside of the boat, Siekmann said.
“We were lucky we didn’t lose him, quite frankly,” Siekmann said.
“Anything over 200 pounds has a good chance of getting into the money,” Rivard said.
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