A hammerhead shark dragged a college student in his kayak up the Atlantic coast for a two-hour “South Florida sleigh ride”.
The SunSentinel reports:
The fight lasted an hour and a half, as a student at Florida Atlantic University struggled to haul a 14-foot great hammerhead shark onto a Broward County beach.
Viktor Hluben, 22, is a member of a group that catches sharks from the beach and releases them alive, coming away only with videos.
“It was extremely exciting, an adrenaline rush,” he said, of his latest shark fight caught on camera. “It’s two apex predators going at it.”
Hluben caught the shark last Tuesday night, with four friends. He declined to give the exact location for fear it would be overrun with other anglers.
Using kayaks to go far out to sea, they set out hooks baited with pieces of amberjack. They knew they caught something big, he said, and it took a half hour to bring the shark within 50 yards of the beach.
“We saw a giant dorsal fin,” he said. “Then it made another run out.”
Eventually, he brought it close in again, seeing the giant tail and dorsal fin sticking out of the water. They threw a rope around its tail and dragged it ashore.
They don’t want to hurt the shark, he said, so they move fast once on the beach. They cut the line about four inches from the shark’s mouth.
They use a circle hook, which hooks the mouth rather than gut-hooking the shark. It’s made of non-stainless steel, which means it rusts out quickly.
“The only thing running through my mind is as soon as the shark lands on the beach we’ve got to be diligent and get it back into the water fast,” he said. “We are all about releasing them.”
But studies have shown that catch-and-release fishing can harm the fish, said Neil Hammerschlag, director of the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program at the University of Miami.
“Our research shows that the shark is most likely to suffer post-release mortality,” he said.
A study by Hammerschlag and his colleagues used satellite tags to track five species of shark caught and released with circle hooks. They found hammerheads were the most likely to die, with 53.6 percent of them still alive four weeks after being caught, compared to nearly 100 percent of tiger sharks.
Anybody else wondering why he just didn’t cut his line? What would you have done?
(Photo Source: PR Photos)