Little Ray as Shark Bait
September 2017 by V. R. Duin


Pressed against the hole in the boat,
Little Ray could keep it afloat.
And once the leak began to slow,
The engine could be checked below.
(“Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up”)

“Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up” brings a stingray and a shark together for a shark bait adventure with a boating family while they are not shark fishing.

In Hawaii, mainlanders humorously are called “shark bait”, to suggest that pale skin attracts sharks. Yellow, white, silver and highly contrasting colors seem to attract sharks. This also seems true for jewelry or shiny swimming suits that look like fish scales. Seals are a favorite shark food. Unless you are shark fishing with a spear, it may be wise to avoid black wet suits in areas where these animals live.

So as to not become shark bait, it is wise to stay close to shore and to stay out of murky waters. Sharks are known to bite and run. If you cannot see a shark, you might bump into it, which is never a good thing. If the shark cannot see you well enough to distinguish you from its normal prey, it might take a sample bite. A boating family does not want to touch a passing shark from the boat or with the boat. Whether someone is shark fishing or not, the boat may get pounded in turn by the shark.

Sharks migrate North in the summer and South in the winter. Anyone who is not shark fishing should reverse this pattern. They are less likely to meet up with a shark and become shark bait. It is unwise to block a shark's travels. An adult human being looms large in the water, so a slow and calm movement aside may be sufficient to deter a shark attack. Sharks prefer easy prey over a huge battle. “Shark bait” also is an expression that indicates someone who is in a vulnerable position. Certainly, Little Ray and the boating family meet this definition in “Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up”.

The members of the boating family in this shark bait adventure were not shark fishing when a shark was attracted to their boat. The shark may have been lured by activity around the boat. Sharks are attracted to anything that moves through water erratically or with a splashing motion. At the end of the story, Little Ray worried that his leaps and flips and bends might have attracted the shark to his boating family friends. The entertainment certainly took on a different tone after the shark arrived. Fortunately, sharks rarely take on an entire group of people. It is hard for sharks to distinguish the individual parts of a mass.

Since sharks hang around ledges, holes, sandbars and wrecks, it should come as no surprise that the shark in “Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up” did not abandon the boat after making a hole in the bottom. Bluefish and mackerel are favored as bait for shark fishing, not stingrays, boats or people. If you see fish leaping and churning out of the water, they may be trying to escape a shark. Anyone or anything can become shark bait.

This article is regularly updated in the hope that beach goers, swimmers and boating family friends will avoid becoming shark bait. When you leave your craft or your beach chair to step into the water, Little Ray's stories prove it is safer to do activities in, on or around the water in guarded areas and with friends.

Shark Bait Comments

  • shark bait admin says:

    Shark repellent sprays and electrical, magnetic or acoustic devices claim to have the opposite effect of shark bait.

  • boating family admin says:

    Dorsal is a free application, available through iTunes, with real-time shark reports and alerts, so a boating family can visit or stay away.

    • Shark Fishingadmin says:

      If you go shark fishing, Little Ray asks you to release your catches.