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[Editor’s Note: To enhance your reading experience, please play the audio file below while reading this story]

Senior Matthew Hobbs proudly displays the shark he caught while deep sea fishing off the coast of Florida. (Photo Courtesy: Mike Hobbs)

Knee-deep snow, icy roads and gusts of wind. This is what Wyoming residents experience every year during the winter months.

But this year’s winter weather has brought forceful storms that have cancelled school and made traveling difficult. 

Despite these conditions, many have sought warmer weather to escape. To the Spomer and Hobbs family, Florida was the perfect solution. 

“[The trip to Florida] was nice cause it was really cold here,” sophomore Sydney Spomer said. “So it was a good get-away from the cold.”

Between the sandy beaches, blue skies, go-kart racing and the International Space Museum the two families were truly living it up. To start off their temperate holiday, they took a boat tour and went deep sea fishing. 

“It wasn’t our first time,” senior Matthew Hobbs said. “We’ve been deep sea fishing in Mexico and Panama, and we haven’t caught anything but little 4-inch groupers.”

Only this time, they were in for a surprise. The team of Morgan, Matthew and Mike Hobbs along with Elsie, Sydney and Dusty Spomer, managed to catch a total of seven sharks. 

“We jumped on the boat and drove out to the sea for a little bit,” Matthew said. “And then we started fishing for some smaller fish to get some little bait fish. This time going out and catching some bigger fish was a lot more fun.” 

Although they have been on these fishing trips before, this was Sydney’s first time catching a shark but she still managed to land an almost 3-foot beast.

“It was harder than I thought it was going to be,” Sydney said. “My dad helped me a lot because it was heavy so it was kind of hard [to reel in] but it was fun.” 

“I felt special [that] I caught a shark,” Sydney said. “We did keep one and we ate it. It was kind of weird. It was like a combination between fish and chicken.”

The other six were released back into the ocean. Although this trip was one for the books, the families couldn’t help but miss home.

“I plan on going fishing up in the mountains next cause it’s always kinda been my happy place,” Matthew said. “Personally there’s nothing like it. I love going deep sea fishing but there’s just something about being up in the mountains that just makes it ten times better.”

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