MASSIVE HAMMERHEAD SHARK CAUGHT IN MIAMI FLORIDA!!
**BE SURE TO READ DESCRIPTION FOR THE FULL STORY!!**
My girlfriend, Jessie and I went on a shark charter on 4/18/2018 with Mark The Shark Charters out of Miami, Florida.
Having caught 9 sharks in my career at that point, it’s safe to say that I had very high expectations going into this trip with Mark. When I first spoke with Mark The Shark I told him that my previous record was a 7.5 Ft ~350 pound Bull Shark down in Marathon Key, Florida. I told him I would be upset if he and his world renowned reputation couldn’t put me on a bigger one!
I also told him that I had 2 sharks left on my bucket list – Hammerhead and Tiger Shark.
Without hesitation, Mark said “Challenge accepted, when can you be here!!”
I booked an afternoon charter with him which was due to take off at about noon. They were running a bit behind because they had hooked up (and lost) a BIG bite on the morning charter.
So we headed out onto the water at about 1:00pm and had 4 hours to go out, catch some live bait (mostly for the top water reels in hopes of catching a Sailfish… Which we knew wasn’t my goal), then haul ass about 2 miles off the Eastern Florida shore, which landed us at the Western edge of the Gulf Stream Current (***One of the most powerful North-South currents in the world**)
After about an hour of bait fishing and traveling, we set up shop. Dropping a BIG OLE’ hunk of blue fish down to the dark depths of almost 200 feet, using a sinker the size of a bowling ball, we knew we were where we needed to be!
Then…. an hour passed… two hours passed… THREE HOURS PASSED?!?!? Not even so much as a NIBBLE! (Jessie didn’t mind, as she was catching some nice South Florida sun on the front deck of Marks 50 Ft. Luxury fishing vessel).
All of the sudden, a MASSIVE cargo barge cuts behind our boat, and the name of the boat was “The Great White” (which you hear Mark chuckle about in the video)..
As if that barge was the bearer of our best fortunes, out of NOWHERE… BOOM goes the downrigger rod. Imagine seeing a tree trunk bend in half… because that’s certainly what it felt like!!!
FINALLY… THE MOMENT I HAD BEEN WAITING FOR!!!!
I make my way (with very little grace) into the fighting chair and it’s game on, baby!!! And for the first 45 minutes (or so) of the fight, no one on the boat had any guess as to what this beast might be, but we knew it was BIG… This shark started PULLING THE 50 FOOT BOAT… I mean… YANKING the boat. And it was yanking the boat TO THE NORTH!!! (Meaning that this fierce adversary was literally tugging our boat AGAINST one of the STRONGEST. CURRENTS. IN. THE. WORLD.)
My heart is pumping, adrenaline coursing through my veins, sweat leaking as if every pour of my skin was it’s own fire hydrant! But this is what I came for, and I will NOT let this one get away.
Cranking the reel with an arm that might as well have been made of rubber at that point, we finally caught a faint glimpse of the beast. In my head, I’m PRAYING for something massive, otherwise I would look like the biggest wimp on planet earth for the fight this shark was giving me.
The deck hand looks over towards me with a grin on his face spanning from ear to ear and he says “That’ll be another check off the bucket list, my man… You got yourself a BIG OLD HAMMER!!”
It was at that point that I caught a SERIOUS second wind and started cranking on that reel as if my life depended on it!! (It was also at that point when the 5-6 foot rolling waves got a hold of my girlfriend. She began adding some extra chum to the water 😂)
After an hour and a half, I had officially out-muscled this massive hammerhead, and we were able to get her right up next to the boat to take a good look at her, and good lord was she gorgeous!!
Mark hollered down from the captains nest “This is the catch of a lifetime! I can’t even remember the last time we saw a hammer this big!!! We need PHOTO EVIDENCE!!”
On a personal note, I’m 6’3″ and 300 lbs… The deck hand was similar stature to me, and Mark is no small guy either… Why is that information important? Because it took ALL THREE OF US about 5 minutes of tug-o-war with this Hammerhead to get her (Partially) on the deck!! She was so big that we had to leave the back 1/3 of her hanging off the edge of the boat!!
Measurements came in at 148.5 inches, and Mark guesstimated that she was north of 600 pounds. To this day, I still second-guess that estimate and would love to actually know how much she weighed.
After a few great photos, we planted a tag into her side (harmlessly), gently slid her off the back of the boat, said our goodbyes, and watched her get re-established with the ocean she calls home. After about a minute and a half of figuring out what just happened, she turned her head down and eased her way back into the depths of the beautiful blue Atlantic.
I can not thank Mark enough for this trip. It is an experience that I will ALWAYS remember.