Margate fishermen do battle with a 300-pound thresher

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MC-Shark--0920 Dr. Lee Rubin and his fishing buddy, Kenny Rose, on board the 23-foot Pathfinder in Margate.

MARGATE – Retired veterinarian Lee Rubin of Margate loves to fish and is out in his boat, a brand new 23-foot Pathfinder about four or five days a week when the weather is favorable. Rubin had a tale to tell when he walked into the bait shop at Ray Scott’s Dock Tuesday morning to share his experience with Robin Scott.

It was Monday, Sept. 17 and the water that day was flat, just about perfect when he and his fishing buddy and neighbor, Kenny Rose, went out to fish for shark about 3 miles off Atlantic City.

Rubin, who loves to catch and release big fish, said Tuesday that his heart was pounding just talking about the experience the two anglers had.

“We had been catching brown sharks recently in the 60- to 80-pound range, but Monday was a completely different story. Rose hooked an 11-foot, 300-pound thresher shark.”

Rubin said the line had gone flat and they were not sure if the shark was still on the line, when suddenly the shark “aired” just over the bow of his boat.

“We go out there all the time, but this was something very unexpected,” Rubin said. “It is pure fear when you see something that large. I told Kenny right there, ‘if he comes in this boat I am getting out.’ The tail can certainly cut you as it struggles and his tail was huge.”

The fish would air another two times before the battle was over. But don’t think it ended with a behemoth thresher strapped to the side of the Pathfinder; that is not what Rubin or Rose wanted as an outcome.

“I am a sport fisherman. I could never put a gaff on him and there was no way I was going to tail rope him,” said Rubin. “I wanted to play him; the game is in the playing. You keep him on until you get to your leader and then you let him go.”

Rubin gave credit where credit was due.

“Kenny did a wonderful job of fishing. I was chasing; running the boat and circling around,” said Rubin.

He called sport fishing a two-person adventure as one is needed to work the boat in order to keep the fish and the other is working the line.

To make the experience even more memorable, Rubin said the water was perfect on Monday; flat and clear so they were able to see the shark in the water while they were fighting it.

“He was a monster fish; absolutely beautiful, beautiful blue color. I would never kill something like that,” said Rubin. “May she live a long and happy life.”

Rubin fishes out of Margate in the summer and Florida in the winter, but said the sport has taken him to the waters in Alaska, Australia as well as South and Central America.

While Rubin, who just celebrated his 86th birthday a month ago, said he has caught hundreds of sharks over the years and has landed blue marlin and tarpon, his adventure with a 300-pound thresher goes down as one for the record books.


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