Little Ray as Shark Bait displayed at 50% of viewport width
September 2018 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 nobody is shark fishing.

Colors may lure sharks. In Hawaii, mainlanders are called “shark bait”, suggesting pale skin attracts them. Their excellent bright light vision leads them to strike familiar-looking prey.

Pops of Color? Fish often are light underneath and dark on top. Sharks may be attracted by jewelry or shiny swimming suits with the appearance of fish scales. It's not clear what lured a shark to Ray's friends' boat.

Stand out. Yellow, white, silver and highly contrasting colors seem to entice sharks. People put a lot of thought into bottom colors for boats. Colors or patterns may attract or repel fish. Reflective metal may intrigue them.

Good Taste? People get sampled by curious sharks. It is wise to stay in shallow, clear waters close to shore. Avoid swimming or wading in murky waters. If you cannot see a shark, it probably cannot see you.

Mouth-watering food takes on new meaning. Sharks do not have saliva. Water gulps and mucus mouth linings help them bolt down tempting morsels. Strong stomach acid and enzymes to break down their heavy foodstuffs.

Blech! Sharks spit out mistakes. Smell and appearance can be deceptive in food selection. Food can look good and taste bad. It can look terrible and taste delicious. Flavor preferences are individualized in humans and animals.

Scratch-and-sniff? It is not a good idea to bump into or touch a shark. Food choice can be driven by convenience or inconvenience. Angry specimens can pulverize perceived enemies with harrowing speed and force.

Sharks come close to shore. When leaving a craft or a beach chair to step into the water, it is safer to stay in guarded areas. Fishing from beaches may attract these big eaters. They go where food congregates.

Chain reaction? Tossing food into a fish bowl or pond gets attention. Diners arrive and hang around, competing for the biggest share of supply. The resultant feeding frenzy can get the water churning, galvanizing viewers.

There are Fish Feeding Frenzy game apps. Players start out as little fish, and try to eat their way up the chain. The goal is to become a big fish, capable of eating anything, before getting eaten.

Structured Environment? Ocean-themed activities are educational. Toddlers learn numbers, colors, alphabets and facts by feeding homemade cardboard sharks. Artificial fish, like their natural cousins, give and take.

Shark crafts pull kids from screens. These fierce fish can be drawn or given three-dimensional form as puppets and games. It doesn't need to be Shark Week to get everyone celebrating these household names.

Dealer's Choice? Shark fishing is popular. Bait may be bought, netted or fished. Bonita, mackerel, mullet and similar fatty fish are common baits. Anglers chum for sharks by tossing fish parts overboard to lure them.

Stingrays are not a protected species. They may be caught for use as bait. In match, tournament and recreational shark fishing, parts are scattered in advance to attract competitive feeders and improve sporting odds.

Sponsors of monster competitions are under pressure to reform. Harvest of the largest fish harms reproduction. Mama Ray reports bigger fish have more babies. No Fishing discusses the environmental distress of trophy fish.

Peak season? Shark territory moves. Sharks migrate north in the summer and south in the winter. Anyone who is terrified of sharks should reverse this pattern. They are less likely to meet up with a shark or risk becoming bait.

On location? Take care filming these apex hunters. They are known to grab cameras. A hand or arm may go along. Boats get rammed by incited sharks. Great White Sharks punch holes in boats and damage shark cages.

Do not block a shark's travels. An adult person looms large in the water. Aggressive species may launch territorial attacks. They eat many types of food. Fortunately, they do not eat many people.

Sharks actively hunt at night. These opportunistic feeders also serve as scavengers. Scavenged food can be dying, decaying flesh of dead animals or refuse. They swallow food and non-food items whole or gnash them to bits.

Sharks move upper and lower jaws to take big bites. Fish-eating species have pointed teeth. Shellfish and crab-eating species have flat crushing teeth. Species that eat seals and sea lions have razor sharp teeth.

Beware in seal territory. Large sharks savor these blubbery meal-sized marine mammals. A shark may mistake a swimmer or surfer in a black wet suit. To look like a seal, may meet up with dire consequences for the wearer.

Shark bait is an expression describing someone in a vulnerable position. Little Ray and the boating family meet this definition in Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up. Shark did not abandon ship after making a hole in it.

Sharks often avoid boats. Immense size repels them. Dorsal is a free application, available through iTunes. It gives real-time shark reports and alerts. Boaters can visit shark populations or avoid them.

Sharks prefer easy meals over huge battles. They display no guilt or remorse. They often maim prey, then swallow it after the struggling stops. Sharks often steal catches from fishing lines or by chomping into heavy nets.

Sharks are beckoned by erratic or splashing motions. Little Ray worried his leaps and flips and bends might have tempted the shark. The entertainment took on a different tone after the shark arrived.

Shark Wake Parks are making waves. Users of a natural park in Palm Beach County, Florida opposed funding for a disruptive water attraction run by Australian golfer Greg Norman and his Great White Shark Enterprises.

People often show up with bait or for money. Sharks hang around ledges, holes, sandbars and wrecks. Sordid shark bait dives associate people with food. Many controversial business activities for lucre are drawn to water.

Anything can become shark bait. Shark Sider tells The 14 Weirdest Things Sharks Have Eaten. License plates, tires and a chicken coop may have traveled long distances to wind up inside sharks.

Beach goers and boaters must be good custodians. Messes make their way into hungry residents of the world's beaches and oceans. Unnatural foods are hard or impossible for these bold predators to digest.

Do-it-yourself responsibility makes a difference. Each item carried away, reused, recycled or re-purposed lightens footprints on the environment. The effects are not merely local. Waves, winds and sea life add locomotion.