Orrin Woodward on LIFE & Leadership

Inc Magazine Top 20 Leader shares his personal, professional, and financial secrets.

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    Former Guinness World Record Holder for largest book signing ever, Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of And Justice For All along with RESOLVED & coauthor of LeaderShift and Launching a Leadership Revolution. His books have sold over one million copies in the financial, leadership and liberty fields. RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

    Orrin made the Top 20 Inc. Magazine Leadership list & has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE. He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.

    This blog is an Alltop selection and ranked in HR's Top 100 Blogs for Management & Leadership.

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Dan Hawkins: Shark Fishing

Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 22, 2012

Captain Bill Howard and I took my friend and co-founder of the LIFE Business, Dan Hawkins, on a shark fishing expedition earlier this week. I like to catch and release the big boys after getting them up to the boat to marvel at their power and design. I have caught Reef, Nurse, HammerHead, Tiger, Bull, and even had a Mako Shark on the line; however, this day 0f fishing would be unique. Incidentally, it was unique for Cap Howard as well and he was a fishing guide in the Dry Tortugas for over 15 years, helping to catch 18 foot Tiger Sharks, monster Hammerheads, and beastly Bull Sharks. Rarely, in other words, is something going to surprise him.

Nevertheless, less than two hours into the trip, I set the hook on what seemed a mild bite and handed the top of the line, practically unbreakable pole, to Dan Hawkins. Dan was not able to make up any ground on this shark, so, assuming he wasn’t applying the proper pressure, I started fighting it. After an hour of making no headway, exhausting myself in the process, I realized this Bull Shark was bigger than any other shark I had ever faced. I surrendered the pole to Cap Howard, who for the next 45 minutes battled the beast to a standstill, but no progress. He simply could not move the Bull Shark’s head in the slightest degree in our direction. In fact, he exclaimed in all his years of fishing, that he had never seen a shark of this bulk and power. Indeed, the longest shark ever battled on the Dreambuilder II required less than two hours to bring into the boat (a nearly 500 pound HammerHead), but after three hours and counting, we resembled spitballs hitting a battleship. 🙂

Finally, at the 3 1/2 hour mark, and the fish made another huge run, taking out 200 more yards of line.  I set the pole in the rod holder, hoping to rest a bit as we strategized how to bring in this potential world-record Bull Shark. Curiously, in the Florida Keys this summer, a researcher tagged a 1,000 pound Bull Shark, shattering the previously believed world-record of 700 pounds for a Bull Shark. Evidently Bull Sharks are much bigger than previous research indicated. Without exaggeration, I am convinced we had a Bull Shark of this on the line. Nonetheless, Cap and I had no idea how Dan could get this monster up to the boat to take a picture.  As we contemplated our options, the shark dove down to the bottom, snapping the base of the pole while in “rested” in the rod holder! Literally, the force of this fish bent the pole with such energy that it snapped my lifetime guaranteed Ugly Stick. Now, things were getting desperate.

With no ability to rest, we took turns fighting the increasingly upset shark, ultimately requiring two at a time –  one, fighting the shark’s power and the other reeling in when possible. Meanwhile, to make matter worse, the weather turned uncooperative with the wind and waves picking up, making it difficult to maintain our footing and hold the pole. Knowing we were now in a race against weather, time and wills – the Bull Shark against ours – we tightened the drag to the breaking point. At the four hour mark, we optimistically believed the shark was running out of gas. The attack intensified as we flexed the pole and line to its limits in the hope of breaking the shark’s will. Instead, we  helplessly, watched the shark, who had fought twice as long as any other shark in my fishing history, strung an awe-inspiring run of another 150 yards! Cap, Dan, and I, at that moment, realized we had, in reality, not caught the Bull Shark, but that it had caught us!

Needless to say, we didn’t catch this unbelievable fish, for not long after this run, he frayed the 220 pound monofilament line and convincingly swam away. The shark simply refused to be caught. Thankfully, however, it’s still out there, just outside the Port St. Lucie inlet, waiting for you to be invited fishing. I am calling for reinforcements to help us catch, take a picture, and release this and other sharks. 🙂 Any volunteers? LIFE is great!  I love the Christmas season because we can gather with family and friends and dream together. Merry Christmas everyone and if you dream of helping me catch the big sharks, be sure to start working out now!


Orrin Woodward

40 Responses to “Dan Hawkins: Shark Fishing”

  1. Thank you Orrin for the opportunity to attempt catching this shark! I will return every year bigger and better until we catch this moster! Have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Jammie Fisher said

    At the snowman picture: Carl replies, “Yeah, you smell carrots?”

    That is so awesome about shark fishing. What an awesome experience we look forward to!

    Merry Christmas to you guys.

    Richard and Jammie

  3. That sounds like one awesome time! I thought kings on the great lakes were fun, cannot imagine catching something that would make those same kings be BAIT!!!! Thanks for sharing Orrin! God Bless!

  4. Maura Galliani said

    What an entertaining “fish tale,” Orrin. The one and only time I went deep sea fishing was in the gulf two years ago, 15 miles off the coast of Sarasota. I actually caught a grouper, several king fish, and a lizard fish. I even witnessed a baracuda eating one of the kingfish off my line. The highlight of that day, though, was watching a whale shark playing around the boat! That shark was longer than the 25-foot boat we were on! Fired up!!

    Merry Christmas to you and Laurie!

  5. M & L Parr said

    Orrin and Dan
    It’s great see how our leaders PDCA every area of life…. Looks like the sharks do too -:)
    Looking forward to a great 2013. Have a blessed Christmas!!!!!!

    Thanks for all you do!!
    God Bless

  6. Wow, Orrin that is amazing. Let me star today.

  7. george guzzardo said

    I thought I was reading ‘Field and Stream’ for a minute. You had me on the edge of my seat!

  8. Kevin Hamm said

    I am game. I would love to wear myself out fighting a shark.

  9. I will never again put a toe in that water! never. wow! : )

  10. robert wilcox said

    Wow! That had to have been intense! I kept seeing twitter updates on my phone about this and when you guys hit 3 hours i was thinking this is a monster. Next time !!! Thank you for Sharing a great Dreambuilding moment!

  11. Monique Hoffer said

    What an adventure ! I followed it a little on Dan s twitter…. To see it written here, I can just catch little bits of the Jaws movie playing out.
    I think if I had been on that boat with you fellas, and that shark actually got in the boat, I would have learned to walk on water. LOL, a fish that big does not belong in a boat with me.
    To say the least I can’t wait to have grand adventures like that someday too.
    It’s amazing what man and animal will do for the price of freedom 🙂

    Merry Christmas…….

  12. Matt Mielke said

    Awesome!! Now you know what i felt like pulling in that 3 foot nurse shark! HA!!! What a story. HOw come Dan gave up after an hour? Lol. I can’t wait to go PC and shark fish again. I have a goal of catching a hammerhead, Mako, and a tiger shark while fishing with some of my best friends in the world too- all of you guys. Keep the vision coming. Matt

  13. Steve Leurquin said

    Not sure I want to fish those. I’m pretty happy catching blue gills up here in the North. They are good eating and besides, who could really eat that much fish?……Are you kidding me!!!! That is awesome! I want to catch me one of those!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PC! PC! PC! 1 million baby!

  14. PPTP! 🙂 Thank you for sharing this story Orrin. This shark must have beaten the tools it faced because it was fighting against some of the greatest men this country has ever seen. Merry Christmas!

  15. Scott Staley said

    It’s awesome when ‘1 gets away’! Isn’t it the thrill of catching ‘him’ that keeps us fired up for next time? Looks a great way to spend some time in the Florida sun!

    I loved the tweets that Dan sent out during the running battle. Made me feel like I was there!

  16. Robert Daley said

    Thank you Orrin for sharing the awesome stories and growing my desire to work out with you on the boat

    God bless

  17. Tina Rasmussen said

    Thanks for the dream building Orrin! Can’t wait for Bob to get back out on the vast ocean waters and fish the lunkers again! Merry Christmas to you and Laurie and the kids!

  18. Jonathan Fowler said


    That was an awesome story, and I can’t wait for the day to try my hand at the adventure of shark fishing! Isn’t it funny that even when you have all the “right” tools for the job that sometimes it’s still not enough? That’s the power of freedom! Just like when the colonies battled England. By all counts the colonies should have been crushed by a bigger and better equipped enemy, but oh how ferocious the will of a free spirit can be! Thank you Orrin and to all the other men and women of TEAM Life for reigniting the flame of a free America once again! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

  19. Im in! This is awesome Orrin!With an experience like this I don’t think I could ever go walleye fishing again, and im okay w/ that. Merry Christmas to you & your family &God Bless.

  20. Kody Ellis said

    Unbelievable! I’m excited in the next year to go shark fishing with Orrin and workout in his gym! Going to be an exciting 2013!!!

    Awesome video!


  21. Dave Thomas said

    Thanks for another great dream building story! We are a little short of shark fishing stories here in Iowa, but love the possibility of what could be. If we change our thinking and use TEAM efforts over time , significant results are in our reach…”We fell in with a couple guys..”, what a powerful, true statement. Thanks for everything you guys do for do many people!

  22. Aron Radosa said

    I am in! We have group of people ready to man the boat. Merry Christmas!!


  23. jimmy varghese said

    awesome story! i love the fact that there are rewards for doing the right thing! merry christmas to the LIFE TEAM!

  24. Denny Smith said

    Problem was that the shark out weighed and out muscled you all.
    What you needed was a couple 6000 lb snorting RHINOs on the boat to bring it in.
    Must fight fire with fire. 🙂

  25. Yancy said

    That is great thank you for charing with us the dream for giving us a glimps as how it could be for us

  26. David Mitchell - Team Rhino's said

    As I was reading the article about the relentless shark, all I could think about is “Lung Busters!” Your competitive side not getting the best of you. Maybe Denny’s right, a couple of 6000 lb snorting Rhino’s on board would reel in the REALity of the fight, to fight!

  27. Tedd Clippinger said

    Sounds like we need to step up our game in our work out program just to get ready to battle one of these monsters…game on!

  28. Alison Ruhlman said


  29. chris volkmann said

    Thanks that sounds awesome can not wait to go fishing and catching a new world record. Merry Christmas. God bless!!!

  30. Super fun! I’m excited to join you! Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton, Bill Lewis, Dan Hawkins, and Tim Marks have such great blogs! I love the information being taught in the LIFE business. Can’t wait to hear about the new PC’s and RT’s in the coming months! Thank you!

  31. Wow, what an amazing story! I’m fighting to join you guys someday! Keep up the great fight.
    Craig and Shanda Wisler

  32. AWESOME story! You will get them next time for sure! I can’t wait to see the photos. Although I have no desire to fight an ocean creature like that I can’t wait to be ON THAT BOAT!

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