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Revenge: Angry Florida Angler Lands 12-foot Hammerhead Shark; 'I Dream About Them'

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DAYTONA BEACH, Florida -- For all the wrong reasons, sharks have been in the news lately in Florida. Over the past two weeks, several Florida swimmers, surfers, and a surfer's board have been bitten.

"We've had quite a bit of shark activity," said Flagler Beach recreation director Tom Gillin.

The lifeguards are waving a purple flag, indicating dangerous marine animals at the public beach. They warn people by driving up and down the shore, and after the bites, they call for people to get out of the water.

But it's a public beach, so they can't force anyone to stay out of the ocean, Gillin said.

The lifeguards are extra cautious, watching for fins in the waves. And after Labor Day passes, the beach-going population tends to thin out, Gillin said. Still, "like ants on a sugar cube," the storm-churned swells draw in the surfers, he said.

When shark angler Dan Ficocello heard about the incidents in Flagler Beach, he decided to try to catch one. And he did: a 12-foot, 4-inch great hammerhead, weighing 543 pounds, reeled onto shore around North 11th Street early Sunday morning.

The 28-year-old from Bunnell paddled his kayak about 250 yards offshore late Saturday night and dropped a barracuda head attached to his line. From shore, the angler felt a tug and the shark pulled his line out for about 15 minutes. Three and half hours later, Ficocello reeled in the animal, dead by the time it reached land.

About 10 people helped him load it onto a truck. They drove it to the Flagler Beach Pier and strung a rope over a beam, raising the shark and taking a picture.

When it comes to thoughts of jellyfish and stingrays, Ficocello would rather swim in a pool any day. But when asked if he has nightmares about a giant shark, Ficocello said, "Oh no man, I dream about them."


Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

45 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

What a freakin less than intelligent person.
   comment# 1   - Jason · Louisville, USA · Sep 25, 2007 @ 8:33pm

Stay out of the ocean if you don't want the risk of a shark bite. That poor shark. What a beautiful creature that was killed by man. SHAME SHAME!!!!
   comment# 2   - Tammy · Memphis · Sep 26, 2007 @ 6:30am

Haven't we evolved at all? What planet is this neanderthal on to think that this is some kind of achievement????
   comment# 3   - Blueplanet · London · Sep 26, 2007 @ 7:36am

There was absolutely no reason to kill this shark other than to satisfy his own fat ego not to mention his ignorant rationale for doing so.
   comment# 4   - Kent Bonde · Miami Shores, Fl USA · Sep 26, 2007 @ 8:13am

If only there was some way to photograph a catch without killing it, then people could get their recognitions and let the fish go...
   comment# 5   - NicktheGreat · Arcata,CA · Sep 26, 2007 @ 10:24am

I wish his Kayak would have tipped over that Saturday night. Because the planet can do without retards like this!
   comment# 6   - Brendan Maas · Philadelphia, PA · Sep 26, 2007 @ 1:32pm

any bum that wants to be a hero like this guy with a shark another shark that has gone to waste by some bum that had nothing better to do why didn't he reel it close and then let it go ho no he had to be a hero well to me he's a zero
   comment# 7   - Leo · Miami · Sep 26, 2007 @ 2:06pm

Moron! Hammerheads are so shy and hard to find underwater, and now there's one less because of this less than intelligent person!!
   comment# 8   - Bren Keller · Troy, MI USA · Sep 26, 2007 @ 8:26pm

That is sweet!
   comment# 9   - Quint · MA · Sep 26, 2007 @ 11:36pm

Bravo less than intelligent person!!! you lazy moron...
   comment# 10   - Carlos Buitriago · Venezuela · Sep 27, 2007 @ 6:11am

The beast is not the one hanging, is the shallow genetic pool humanoid sitting next to it. I can not beleive that there are idiots like this still nowadays. I have no problem of killing an animal for food but not for trophies or to feed his enormously dumb ego. Hope this guy wins the Darwin award very soon.
   comment# 11   - Shark Mtz · Palm Beach · Sep 27, 2007 @ 6:59am

That is awful! How someone can kill a creature like that! I am for killing for food but not killig for pleasure!!!
   comment# 12   - Matt · england · Sep 27, 2007 @ 7:43am

What a dork head...He must be married to his mother...
   comment# 13   - DeanB · UK · Sep 27, 2007 @ 9:45am

I like Sharks ,they are perfect Hunters! The greases chap is a perfect loser!!!!!
   comment# 14   - Frank · Duisburg/Germany · Sep 27, 2007 @ 11:21am

What an absolute less than intelligent person this guy is-what for. He even looks a little backward-maybe he should be shark bait.D on't kill a creature like that just to hang up-
   comment# 15   - Clive · USA · Sep 29, 2007 @ 3:53pm

I have lived in Florida my entire life and was practically raised in the water and at the beach. Amazingly I have seen and/or interacted with only a few sharks of any type. It is horrific that someone would kill one of these beautiful creatures! The ocean is there home NOT ours and if you don't want to risk it swim in a pool!
   comment# 16   - Nicole · Tampa, USA · Oct 1, 2007 @ 11:21am

   comment# 17   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska ,Texas · Oct 1, 2007 @ 5:43pm

   comment# 18   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska ,Texas · Oct 1, 2007 @ 6:00pm

Robert Rolin . You sir, are a typical redneck. I bet your real name is Cletus.
   comment# 19   - Pete M · Yorkshire ,England · Oct 2, 2007 @ 6:01am

That is an great catch! There is good eating on one of those!
   comment# 20   - hjalti hilmarsson · Garðabær, Iceland · Oct 3, 2007 @ 11:02am

I'm looking for investors for a project to entertain sportsmen. An open field stocked with bunnies that they can catch using 30 lbs breaking strain line and carrots as bait. Hauling in the bunnies would be much better than fishing because you could actually see them suffering. Perhaps we could stock a field with lion and bear cubs as well?
   comment# 21   - D Holloway · South Africa · Oct 4, 2007 @ 5:21am

I went fishing, I caught a large shark. I love sharks but I love fishing too. Get over it everybody. Find a real world problem to discuss other than a recreational angler and one big catch. I find it quite entertaining how people can sum up a man's life by one fish he caught.
   comment# 22   - Danny Ficocello · Bunnell, FL · Oct 4, 2007 @ 9:07pm

good catch Danny. Great experience!!!
   comment# 23   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska ,Texas · Oct 5, 2007 @ 6:44pm

Danny, no doubt that catch was quite a struggle, and maybe hard to let it go alive since you were in a Kayak. You may not be catching these constantly but thousands, millions might still like to. You can stop now, prove the story with photos, and buy a more abundant species fish meat from a responsible company. Visit
   comment# 24   - Erik · Las Vegas · Oct 7, 2007 @ 5:19pm

pETE M FROM Yorkshire being called a redneck is not an insult, thank you very much. Even Though I don't know anyone named Cletus I hope your not implying that someone named Cletus is in some way inferior to say some one named PETE or that because of a birth name giving to them by their father and or mother this makes them less intelligent then some one named PETE. Now Danny, Dan or Daniel caught an awesome fish, he baited a hook paddled out into the ocean waited and hooked a catch of a life time. That sir is something to be proud of, kudos Danny, Try fishing Pete its great family sport
   comment# 25   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska ,Texas · Oct 10, 2007 @ 9:43pm

What an less than intelligent person! To kill such a beautiful creature is plain and simply heartless. He does not need to dream about sharks, he needs to dream about getting a life!
   comment# 26   - Mike Workman · Pittsburgh, Pa. · Nov 4, 2007 @ 5:55pm

It should be" What A less than intelligent person" proffessor Mike. It's amazing how many of you tree hugging More then intelligent people make less then intelligent comments.
   comment# 27   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska ,Texas · Nov 6, 2007 @ 7:42pm

Do you idiots whine like this when a shark kills a person? You realize you kill thousands of flies, ants, insects, every day driving down the road. Do you cry about those insects as well, they are living just like a shark is living. Oh wait, you idiots ONLY worry about animals when it's convenient for you. You like driving, so you can justify killing ants/frogs/etc but not killing a shark because you don't like to fish Hypocrite non logical people. You know how many animals/insects were killed or put out of habitat building your homes, vehicles you drive, etc?
   comment# 28   - Big Richard · New York · Nov 14, 2007 @ 9:06am

This is in reply to “BIG RICHARD” who’s also a “BIG rear orifice” you would have to be the most ignorant unintelligent man alive. To even compare a fly or ants or insects to a shark or anything in the ocean is pathetic. You are no doubt one of those losers that probably goes hunting to shot something big to make your balls appear bigger as you have none along with the loser in the photo. Get a life and get real. The sea and ocean is their world not ours, and generally if someone gets bitten by a shark its unfortunate but I can assure most of them would agree that sharks are just doing what come naturally in their world which is to hunt, personally my debate is we don’t go around killing losers like you just because you have no brains, so why should we have the right to go and kill something that if anything is being it self and was here long before we were, to you I say its hunting day my friend and we will be hunting you, what goes around comes around………
   comment# 29   - Kate · Australia · Nov 26, 2007 @ 5:50pm

The entire planet is ours. Humans are the rulers of this world. Yes we should protect endangered species and practice conservation but we have dominion over all animals. We are however the apex predator and hunting comes naturally to us humans also just look at your own remarks Kate, how easily you threaten some one over a FISH.
   comment# 30   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska ,Texas · Nov 29, 2007 @ 9:19pm

Nice catch man. Don't listen to all these green peace...they have nothing better to do than rant about other people killing scat. To think that by ranting on and on about peace and conservation they will deter us in what we do. Conservation is fine, but he was doing something entirely legal, and if he eats the shark, whats the problem? Stop bothering people and get a life.
   comment# 31   - Rick · Canada · Dec 1, 2007 @ 8:11am

Liberal Whiners, Hippies,etc: Stop with the name calling, its just as base as actually being a "redneck" (btw, just being Southern or "country" doesn't qualify you as a redneck, ignorance does) Such comments only add more fuel to the flames of anthropocentric pride and ignorance. If you want to combat them, do it with votes and by educating others, not flaming them. Rednecks, etc: Be respectful of what you take from the sea. By the way, attempting to site religious stewardship (God gave dominion, blah blah) is a poor excuse to mask a general disdain of sharks. If you were holding dominion responsibly, you "weekend" fisherman would help yourselves and your commercial brethren by doing more to aid and protect sea life so that ALL people can enjoy a future with sharks whether its to observe them or catch and utilize them responsibly. Fearing sharks is no reason to go out and kill one. Grow up, we obviously differ in opinion on whether sharks should be killed by people for sport, but we all agree that if they are not protected, there will be no sharks for anyone in the future. I'm sick to share a country with either of you ignorant groups.
   comment# 32   - Gabriel · Richmond, USA · Dec 5, 2007 @ 4:41am

You go dude a fish is a fish.Plus it is one more that can't eat my kids at Myrtle Beach.Tree hugers buy a box of puffs with alow
   comment# 33   - shawn · florence SC · Dec 5, 2007 @ 4:50pm

"Weekend fishermen" Do more for marine conservation and research then any other group of citizens in the U.S.A. The money they spend on license's alone helps provide our Wildlife departments with much needed finances for research,development,re-stocking programs and other efforts. The media involved in this story is the only reason anyone is claiming fear or revenge on sharks. Read the whole story not just the headline and you will see that Danny never stated these two dramatic and sensational lines of fearing or wanting revenge on sharks.
   comment# 34   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska ,Texas · Dec 5, 2007 @ 5:45pm

Rolin, I am aware of the way fisherman aid in the reporting of oceanic stocks and species occurence and I salute those men/women. However, MOST "weekend fisherman" do not utilize the practices you are suggesting and tend to go out, fish, and then return home. Paying license fees does little aside from buy slight time for our already underfunded and unenforced EPA and other government environmental programs. Don't toot your horn in pride for what little you actually do, such half-butt efforts to claim conservationist activities by paying a small licence fee is almost on par with Gore's shallow attempt to spread the "truth" of global climate change through his misguided facts and scare tactics.
   comment# 35   - Gabriel · Richmond · Dec 7, 2007 @ 8:19am

Yes many "weekend fishermen" do go out fish and then return home but they pay for that right.They also contribute to local economies by purchasing bait ,food and other supplies. Many fishermen also are involved in the "G.C.C.A."Gulf Coast Conservation Assc. In Texas fishing license fees alone generate millions of dollars in revenues to help The Texas Department of Wildlife in our efforts to conserve, protect and restock the coastal waterways,fish and wildlife.There are hundreds of Efforts here in Texas underway to help our rivers,lakes, bays, and our coastlines. The average joe public "weekend fisherman" Does more to help aquatic wildlife then probably most if not all the self indulging,self justified, hypocritical people who are whining and complaining about this mans legal catch. No where in this mans interview did he state that he wanted revenge are that he had a "disdain" for sharks. He simply wanted to catch a large FISH and he was successful.Keep on fishing it's great family sport.
   comment# 36   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska ,Texas · Dec 7, 2007 @ 3:38pm

Rolin, you are a trip. Not once did I say that shark fishing was wrong in my statement, only that recreational weekend fisherman (not regular anglers) need to be more aware of the status of their catch and the environment it is from. I similarly share your disdain for "environmentalists" who talk and do nothing but bad mouth people. Now, that being said, some regular anglers do help in our monitoring and protection programs, but not all. More can be done from their community just as (much) more can be done in the "liberal environmental" community. Instead of just flaming people Rolin (as you appear to do in most of your posts) why don't you focus on the good aspects of both sides and how they should be working together to protect sharks (for observation and for catching) instead of just talking trash on a subject you only know about as a consumer. Yes keep fishing, and keep learning of the role fish play in the environment; but how about we stop at the cheap and baseless namecalling? I repeat, both ignorant sides of the political spectrum make me sick.
   comment# 37   - Gabriel · Richmond · Dec 8, 2007 @ 10:38am

Even if I disagree with some of your opinions I do wish you All a Merry Christmas, And better years ahead
   comment# 38   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska, Texas · Dec 14, 2007 @ 8:59pm

So Kate, YOU decide what is more important, an insect or a shark? YOU decide what is worthy of living and dying? How arrogant. What's the difference, both are living creatures? OH I know, you can justify killing frogs and others animals, so you can drive a car (animals/insects/creatures get run over when humans drive)because it's something that benefits you. Thousands of creatures probably lost a home or died, to clear an area and make the home you live in now. But that's OK since you make the rules on what creatures can and can't live, you hypocrite. You didn’t have an intelligent response of course, just typical liberal name calling and not addressing the point. You probably kill thousands of frogs/bugs each day, but that is ok in your mind, but it's not OK to kill a shark? You think YOU make the rules on what it's OK to kill? Who the hell are you?
   comment# 39   - Tom · New York · Dec 26, 2007 @ 7:58am

Not cool. I think we have to be a little more willing to allow animals to continue to live in their own environments. I can understand peoples concerns about safety, but why not take the lifeguards advice and stay out of the water for a while? It seem this guy just took advantage of the situation ad took the opportunity to inflate his own ego. Can't really understand what pleasure can be gained from killing such a magnificent animal - can anyone explain? Personally, I think the pleasure and excitement lies in seeing animals such as this alive and well.
   comment# 40   - Jamie · Canterbury, UK · Feb 28, 2008 @ 1:06am

Wow. Amazing comments. Did any of you stop to think that just maybe Dan fishes regularly and will eat this fish? The "shark attacks" have very little to do with his hobby, except maybe letting him know there are some around. When was religion brought into this? Humans have dominion over the Earth. We are the dominant lifeform. We eat anything else that's edible. What's that got to do with religion? Are sharks overfished? Yes. Recreational anglers are responsible for less then 1% of shark/swordfish/etc deaths. You make it sound like Dan should be lumped with the folks that churn through 100s of sharks just lopping off their fins and throwing the rest back in the ocean.
   comment# 41   - Nick V · Chicago, IL · Jun 25, 2008 @ 1:01pm

Have any of you critics ever stepped up to do anything for the shark population? It's easy to sit there and rant and rave about killing innocent creatures but anglers do more for oceanic species than any of you have.I personally fish for sharks, this includes buyin a state required license. The funds earned from these kinds of permits go to helping research and secure these animals existance. Ever donated your time or money or do you just like to talk about how sad it is? Yeah a shark like that doesn't always make it to the shore without dying, but it doesn't always happen that way. I tag and release sharks for studies, to track movements and habits and the growth over time of these great creatures.Alot of people would rather sit and judge than do anything....thats drives the question..who really deserves the title of neaderthal...?License funds support very little right? what do you all contribute? none? very little= more than none.Sometimes I wonder why people put so many emotions into things one second, that they didn't have a care in the world about the second before....And he's the one who needs to get a hobby...?
   comment# 42   - chris · texas · Jun 29, 2008 @ 4:02pm

Yeah, Danny you finially got it are you going to mount it above you bed like you talked about!!!
   comment# 43   - Sarah · batavia, Il · Oct 31, 2008 @ 11:26am

   comment# 44   - Sandy · Florence, Kentucky · Mar 23, 2009 @ 6:27pm

There are always two sides when conservation and sports fishing or hunting. I'm speaking as a responsible fisherman and hunter that does my best to obey the harvest laws set out by the state. I'm also speaking as a surfer who has surfed pretty much every where in Flagler beach for the last 30 years. I've seen my share of sharks and most are small black tips , lemon, or a few bull sharks at times. I've also seen a number of large tiger sharks up to and beyond the size of the great hammerhead caught here. As far as the likeyhood of being attacked by that hammerhead would be remote. I have to agree it was a big animal but as far as sharks being problem animals in Flagler it's just not true. It is an accomplishment to battle a fish of this size for a long time but in fact the mortality of the animal is very high as lactic acid builds up in their system and kills them. All I can say is congrats to the angler but would like to see something done to protect against beaching an animal of this size. I do enjoy eating shark very much but one of this size is not good for food as they have a tendency to be full of worms. Remember, I support both groups but a balance must be arrived at .
   comment# 45   - Mike Rutherford · Flagler beach, Florida · Feb 16, 2015 @ 11:48pm
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