South Carolina

I caught some catfish on Lake Moultrie my first time fishing in South Carolina many years ago, but I knew that I wanted something different for my trophy quest. I celebrated turning 40 by taking a family vacation to Hilton Head. Treating myself to a short shark fishing trip was a no brainer. I fished with Marc Pincus of Reelin Charters, a guide whose list of angling accomplishments and tournament wins speaks for itself. Marc put me on sharks almost immediately and, in 90 minutes, I had caught seven Atlantic sharpnose sharks, two blacktip sharks, a bonnethead shark, a blacknose shark, and two stingrays. The sharpnose sharks were quite big and I was ready to do some math to determine whether they were trophies. But then I didn't have to because, right at quitting time, I caught a massive nine-foot, over 250-pound trophy bull shark. He pulled us all over the place and made me work hard for every inch of line I got back. Finally, after what seemed like forever, especially in the 111-degree heat, I had him next to the boat for picture time and a safe release.

South Carolina became my 43rd state with at least one trophy, and I am already eager to go back and get after more sharks again sometime.