Anglers thought they hooked a tiger shark. It was something much bigger, video shows

When Dylan Wier and Blaine Kenny set out to an Alabama beach, they thought it was going to be a normal night of shark fishing.

The duo runs Coastal Worldwide, a shark fishing outfitter and fishing tour group out of Pensacola, Florida.

On March 7, at about 4 a.m., they were out on Orange Beach, near the Florida-Alabama line, according to WALA.

The pair told the news outlet they had an uneventful few hours — until the line began to run on a fishing pole stuck in the sand.

In a video shared on the company’s YouTube channel, the guides start to reel in something big on the other end of the line. They think it must be a massive tiger shark, or even a late season mako shark.

They spent the next 30 minutes battling the hidden fish out in the gulf.

When they finally got a look, they couldn’t believe what was being pulled onto the beach.

Moving around in the shallow waters was an 11-foot great white shark, Gulf Coast Media reported.

“Oh my god! It’s a great white!” someone is heard in the video yelling from the water.

The anglers rush to the water to pull the shark in and remove the hook from its mouth.

“We are professionals at what we do and are highly experienced shark fishing guides,” Wier told McClatchy News in a message. “But this story is only unique due to the shark’s importance, not our importance.”

Marcus Drymon from Mississippi State University told WALA the 11-foot shark was a juvenile that could have been drawn to the beach by cooler waters.

“This is a very rare event and maybe, if those guys continue to fish from the beach for the next several years and never catch another one like it,” Drymon told WALA.

Wier told McClatchy News the group’s style of fishing doesn’t bring sharks closer to the coast, and they just fish for what is already there.

“That is because our baits don’t have scents that travel for miles and miles therefore the average radius our bait could ‘attract’ a shark in would be minimal,” Wier said.

The tour guides also prioritize the health and safety of the shark. Only 32 minutes passed between when the shark was first hooked and when it was released back into the gulf. The shark was handled for 63 seconds, according to a Coastline Worldwide post.

The anglers walked the shark back into the water to make sure it could swim away safely.
The anglers walked the shark back into the water to make sure it could swim away safely.

Wier said he didn’t want the catch to be about the fishermen, but a “look at how amazing this creature is and we were just fortunate to have it share a small part of its life with us.”

Jill Hendon, director of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Fisheries Research and Development, told Gulf Coast Media great white sharks are common in the Gulf of Mexico, but they aren’t often caught.

“To see such a big shark like the great white, it was very eye-opening to have that show up. Are they out there? Yes. But to have them caught on the beach and able to be landed and confirmed was an eye-opening sight for sure,” Hendon told Gulf Coast Media.

After getting a good look at the shark, the anglers walked it back into deeper waters. The video shows the shark moving its tail, off to swim another day.

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