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Leopard Shark

Seal Beach
Dec. 31, 2006

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It looked like things were not going to end well for this leopard shark that a couple of fisherman pulled out of the surf in front of us on Seal Beach on New Year's Eve. We watched intently while one reeled him in and the other scooped him carefully into a big net, and then as they wrestled him to the ground. At that point, while one held him, the other ran back to his gear and came trotting up with a diver's knife.

Okay, girls, show's over, I said, shooing them off to the other side of the berm, in hopes of avoiding nightmares after a vision of blood draining down the beach. But instead, the catcher used the knife to disgorge the hook, and then after a couple of trophy shots, he laid the beast back into the surf and quickly backed away while it swam back to sea.