DESTIN, Fla. - They knew they were gonna need a bigger boat.
The crew of the Sea Ya Later II hooked a 1,063-pound mako shark in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday. The 12-foot-6-inch shark was half the size of their 23-foot boat.
They called in The Mother Lode, a 45-foot charter boat, to help bring in the shark. The fishermen harpooned the shark with flying gaffs, a large hook attached to rope used to pull in a fisherman’s catch. The gaffs were tied the Sea Ya Later II, which was tilting and close to taking on water.
“If (the shark) hadn’t been as tired as she was, this boat would be sitting on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Lindsey Stanley, the Sea Ya Later II’s captain.
After the shark died, it took eight men to pull it aboard the charter boat and take it to Destin on the Florida Panhandle. The mako was too heavy for the first set of scales at Fisherman’s Wharf.
“I’m investigating it as a world record,” said Jim Roberson, who represents the Florida Panhandle for the International Game Fish Association.
The registered weight of 1,063 pounds makes the catch eligible for the world record in the 30-pound line class for a short-fin mako. The class record is a 997-pound, 11-ounce shark caught in Sydney, Australia, in 1995.