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Florida Fisherman Lands Monster 844-pound Mako Shark; 'It Was Like Jaws'

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DESTIN, Florida -- Six friends went to a fishing tournament looking to catch some grouper. They caught a 844-pound mako shark instead.

Adlee Bruner and five others headed out into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday on a charter boat and came back with a record catch for the decades-old Destin Fishing Rodeo.

"It was tense," Bruner, 47, said about the fight to land the 11-foot shark with a mouthful of huge teeth. "I've fished for 40 years. I've never see one that big."

Bruner and his fishing buddies were on the 52-foot charter boat "Twilight" with Capt. Robert Hill, about 70 miles southwest of this Florida Panhandle beach city.

The fishermen first noticed the big mako because it kept eating grouper and scamp they had hooked.

"It was like Jaws," Hill said.

Hill hooked a two-foot amberine on as bait and tossed it out. The shark eventually hit it.

After a fight which lasted more than an hour, the shark was gaffed and eventually gave up after its tail was roped.

The men could not get the big shark in the boat. They tied the shark to the stern with three ropes and made the four-hour trip back to land.

The shark was hoisted up at the rodeo before a big crowd. It tipped the scale at 844.4 pounds.

After it was gutted, the mako still weighed 638 pounds, breaking the tournament's previous shark division record by 338 pounds, the Northwest Florida Daily News reported.


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

Reader Comments

39 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

pathetic!!!! fat outta shape beer drinking fishermen...great buddy, you caught a defenseless shark by hooking must feel like a man, huh.... Great job guy.....why don't ya try to run or even walk a mile? Go for the real test, losers.
   comment# 1   - john · florida · Oct 14, 2007 @ 9:28pm

Are parts of the USA stuck in a 1970's time warp? Killing sharks because they were badly misrepresented in a 70's film is no longer cool. Large sharks are invariably females and this one looks pregnant. Sharks are being slaughtered all around the world in their millions and are probably the fastest dwindling predator on earth. Please stop killing sharks for sport.
   comment# 2   - Blueplanet · London · Oct 15, 2007 @ 5:48am

Keep it up rednecks and there will be no large fish left in Florida waters. So very sad.
   comment# 3   - robin holder · chicago · Oct 15, 2007 @ 5:56am

Yet another large shark killed and removed from the ocean, so disappointing.
   comment# 4   - Ryan · Ottawa,Canada · Oct 15, 2007 @ 6:32am

I almost can't look at this website anymore. Articles like this just ruin my day! Sharks are doomed, and when the worlds reefs are barant wastelands, I hope these fisherman, along with the commercial fisherman, can look at the starving people around the world, and realize they had a hand in killing them. Because that is exactly what is going to happen. Enjoy it while you can boys, because your children sure as hell wont be able to! IDIOTS!
   comment# 5   - Brendan Maas · Philadelphia, PA · Oct 15, 2007 @ 6:57am

Ever wonder what these guys will do for fun when there aren't any more giant sharks around to prove their manhood with? Maybe go hunt some salt water crocs, wrestle them in barehanded if you've really got a pair. Oh yeah that'd do it. How about some tigers or rhinos on safari. Throw in some mountain gorillas for a real challenge. That would rock!! Hell, and if those are gone from the Earth too, sh*t, I guess that means they can REALLY go for it now and start hunting some damn HUMAN BEINGS! Yeehaw!! After all, nothing like killing something for fun to make you feel ALIVE :)
   comment# 6   - Will · NY, NY · Oct 15, 2007 @ 9:06am

Woo, so does it make them more manly because they didn't release it after the fight?
   comment# 7   - Joe · Plantation, FL · Oct 15, 2007 @ 9:27am

Congrats on the record boys!!! Too bad you had to kill such a flagship animal to boost your egos!! Smart move meat-heads.
   comment# 8   - Jeremy · Boston · Oct 15, 2007 @ 11:46am

   comment# 9   - CAPT. DAVE · GULF COAST · Oct 15, 2007 @ 2:17pm

When I was 6 years old in 1963, my brother and I were out fishing with our Father for our dinner that night. Well my brother who was 9 fell off of the boat and I'm told it was a 8 to 10 foot Great White shark that picked my brother up and the shark shook him and just about cut his body in half. I saw my brother die in the mouth of a shark. All I can say at this point is I'm more than a little disappointed that we haven't killed them all yet. Kudo's to Adlee Bruner, and all the other brave souls like him.
   comment# 10   - Joe Dempsey · Eureka, USA · Oct 15, 2007 @ 2:26pm

   comment# 11   - CAPT DAVE · GULF COAST · Oct 15, 2007 @ 2:45pm

What next a Tiger shoot ? A Rhino hunt ? No because in todays society its unexceptable, so why is it still considered ok to hunt down, kill and string up a magnificent marine preditor ? Mankind (yeah thats a joke) has got to stop this pointless slaughter, that fish was most likely 80 years old or more and to finish up hanging in some sick act of bravardo is just wrong. When are people gonna learn ??? When its too late thats when !
   comment# 12   - Paul · Reading, UK · Oct 15, 2007 @ 3:38pm

Great catch! Thats an adventure of a lifetime! You are Absolutely RIGHT ON Captain Dave! These chicken Yankers have no clue and watch to much peta TV. Keep on fishing, its a great family sport and adventure!!
   comment# 13   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska ,Texas · Oct 16, 2007 @ 5:44am

Just funny that Joe Dempsey's story is not reflected at or anywhere else for that year. Can't wait for the day when a shark is gonna take some proofing-their-manhood rednecks down with him.
   comment# 14   - Capt Pinetree · Northeast, USA · Oct 17, 2007 @ 10:56am

I Agree with Capt Pinetree……Even if it would be true what Mr. Dempsey say’s. His reaction is still one of the most dumbest things I have heard in ages. When you have a brain capacity to think like that, you deserve to be at the bottom of the food chain. I had in only one year, in my surf trip to Australia, two shark encounters. One at Philips Island [6ft white pointer] (Victoria) and one near Julian Rocks, Byron Bay (NSW) [couldn’t id this one, it was near dawn, so to dark to see it properly, size was approx 6/8 ft and for sure it wasn’t Flipper] Both times they came quit close to check what I was doing in there environment. Without any aggression what so ever!!!!!! They are really beautiful and magnificent, powerful animals which do not deserve all that negative publicity all the time. For sure the press and undereducated people are responsible for the hate against these animals, because unfortunately they tag them as monsters.
   comment# 15   - Julien · Holland · Oct 18, 2007 @ 5:15am

Dempsey, even if your brother did die at the jaws of a shark there is no excuse to wish them all dead for it. Vengeance wouldn't bring your bro back (or make much sense considering animals and humans have killed each other throughout history) Good catch guys, if you take something from the sea though, give something back.
   comment# 16   - Gabriel · Richmond, VA · Oct 19, 2007 @ 4:04am

Every one and every thing has to die some day,it all depends if its your day or not and i bet all you shark lovers eat more fish than a shark.
   comment# 17   - Mike Moonab · Lakeland ,Fl · Nov 5, 2007 @ 4:29am

Think it's funny that you tree huggers are fighting for an animal that has a chance to get away. Maybe we should start raising sharks somewhere so we can kill them like cows and chickens. Lets not forget all the dogs and cats that we kill each year because nobody wants them.
   comment# 18   - Chris · Destin · Nov 8, 2007 @ 5:26pm

i hate you hanging a shark like that i wish the shark had killed you!
   comment# 19   - amy · uk · Nov 30, 2007 @ 10:56am

I think it's funny that so many people can be so ignorant about the real issue that is facing us as human beings. We are responsible for the preservation of these magnificent creatures soon they'll all be gone just like the dodo and fresh water catfish or there will be so few like the tigers and rhinos and we need to realise this problem before it's to late! tree huggers that's just stupid! Just because i respect the beauty of an ancient creature, they have been here for longer than us and it would be a shame if future generations missed out on.
   comment# 20   - Bobby · Australia · Dec 2, 2007 @ 11:25pm

If more sharks were taken each year, especially big ones, I think their would be less shark attacks. I think their are too many sharks.
   comment# 21   - Bob Jones · Crestview, Florida · Dec 4, 2007 @ 10:22am

Hey we still have mucho's freshwater catfish, some as big as a volkswagon.
   comment# 22   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska ,Texas · Dec 4, 2007 @ 3:14pm

Joe,sorry about your bro. You were fishing, the smell of dead fish was in the water, boat noise etc. so the shark was attracted to the boat because of it and put into hunting mode directly by these activities. The shark was doing what a predatory shark does naturally, what it is designed to do. We have legs, we are primarily designed for land, we enter into their world as an intruder. Like all hungry animals, throw something at them and they will probably try to eat it, taste it or bite it especially if the smell of good food is filling every sense. If there was no chum, dead fish or anything like that in the water that made the shark think food then chances are the shark bit your brother to find out what it was in the water. With any creature as big as a shark with those kind of teeth and that kind of power, even a "nibble" or "taste bite" can cause massive injuries or even death. As for fishing/catching sharks for sport - again we enter their world and when we do so we accept the risks that go with it. I believe that there are more of certain species of shark than others but I believe that the shortages of shark generally are mainly due to commercial fishing or "by accident" catches dying rather than sport fishing - I can see the appeal but no lasting benefit. Look at almost all of the damage to this earth both land, sea and air, you are looking at commercial business causing damage by their actions with no thought to
   comment# 23   - Bryan Morgan · London, UK · Feb 19, 2008 @ 7:05pm

Well I know that that shark went a fed a large amount of people so it DID NOT Go to waste and you know there really not that many large sharks taken from these waters. one shark out of thousands each year is not that bad. and besides I have only kept one or two small sharks in the years I have been here. and I ate every last bit of them or gave what I couldn't eat or freeze to friends or family. as long as it is not being wasted then WTF is your problem?!?!
   comment# 24   - Jeremy · Pensacola, Florida · Mar 17, 2008 @ 8:51am

Its easy, if you fish it and kill it, you eat it.. Thats life. The shark does it, we do it, get over it. Guess what? I'm going shark fishing tomorrow night, and if I catch one, I'm going to eat the meat I get from it. Its called nature, pick up a book and learn sometime you immature wusses with no life.
   comment# 25   - Richard · Panama City Florida · Jun 23, 2008 @ 8:38pm

It's interesting to note that the first half dozen or so comments were bashing sport fishing, which is not the cause of the demise of any fish species. These tofu-eating, city dwelling, vegans need to get educated to the causes of animal extinction. It's usually caused by destroying their environment or commercially destroying their primary food source. Sportsmen generally contribute more to animal well-being and preservation than any other group, including animal-rights organizations.
   comment# 26   - Joe · Massachusetts, USA · Jun 24, 2008 @ 11:21am

thanks capt. dave, and of course you were edited, they dont agree with you and cant face the truth......we have too many sharks on the atlantic, to where it gets to the point where thats all we catch bottom fishing, and they are an annoyance, oh, and 100 sharkbits at New Smyrna, yeah, too many sharks. its really funny, or just sad, how all these yankee northerners who have never fished, dived, or experianced the food chain in our waters think they know everything. Great Job on the mako, and I hope she tasted great.
   comment# 27   - floridabassman · florida · Aug 15, 2008 @ 9:18am
- Editor: .

fish on capt dave !
   comment# 28   - son · ruston la · Aug 26, 2008 @ 5:48pm

You southerners use the words yankee like northerners don't know how to fish. Words like tree huggers to defend yourselves only make you sound like bigger redneck's. Seriously. I've lived in some great fishing towns being in the Coast Guard. Cape May, Cape Cod. And I live in Philadelphia but grew up in Fort Walton Beach FL. Next door to Destin. These are communities are communities which depend on commercial fishing or sports fishing to help support local economy. In Destin we have tournaments all the time so I don't think that sports fishing is all that bad. I do however, in this case especially, think that catching this particular species especially as magnificent as this one was uneccessary. And I know these fisherman down here it gives them a hard on to catch such fish like this. It can be disgusting.
   comment# 29   - Mark Perry · Philadelphia USA · Nov 30, 2008 @ 7:10am

I agree with Capt Dave 100% and I am from the East Coast Dave so please don't label all of us as sissies. I think that was an awesome catch and I really son't think we are going to run out of sharks!! I guess hunting and shooting a deer would be way out of line with most of you thumb sucking whimps!! Get a freakin life and quit whining, pick up a rod and go fishing.
   comment# 30   - Edie Clark · Cortland, USA · Jan 21, 2009 @ 9:18am

OMG, Has any of you ever ate Mako? I'm sure you have if you eat seafood.. It's crazy how a Recreational Guy makes the news and you all bash him, and then keep on eating seafood..
   comment# 31   - Brassy Hooker · Cocoa Beach, Fl · Mar 12, 2009 @ 12:20pm

yall are just jealous thats a nice catch if you ask me
   comment# 32   - Wild bill · tx · Mar 25, 2009 @ 11:18am

Thats messed up poor shark it didnt kill anyone or bite anyone real men would have left it alone
   comment# 33   - Alexandra · Miami,florida · Oct 8, 2009 @ 4:45am

Why don't all you people ragging on these fishermen put your efforts together and get the Japanese and Chinese to stop the SLAUGHTER of tens of thousands of sharks per week! At least all the fishermen I know, eat what they catch, NOT to throw it back alive without FINS! I hate people who less than respectable female about something they have NO KNOWLEDGE ABOUT! Just like the USA Slaughtering ALL the Giant Tuna too! When, the fact remains that the USA catches 3% of the annual Atlantic Blue fin Tuna take! One shark that this angler waited his whole life to catch is NOT the answer to conservation! You must all be stupid Politicians! Go less than respectable female elsewhere!
   comment# 34   - Shannon McNulty · Narragansett, RI USA · Nov 24, 2009 @ 8:51am

WOW!! Look at all these tree-hugers leaving all these comments. If you hate shark fishing so much how about you stop looking at pictures of the aftermath and keep the hits on these websites low! But no you would rather complain about this perfectly LEGAL sport even if that means making this website, hosting this picture, more and more popular. Shark Killer1- "Hey look at all the poeple commenting the picture of the dead shark!" Shark Killer2- "Hey if we kill more sharks we could be famous!" If you realy care about your "poor wittle sharks" then how about you realy do something about instead of whinning about it on some stupid website. DAMN! Good catch by the way! I caught a mako last week, good fight.
   comment# 35   - Billy Rey · Florida · Dec 21, 2009 @ 10:15pm

Well well, another forum to argue about fishing. How about this... just shut up and fish, if you have a problem with what people keep and what they release stop fishing and get out of our waters. You Northerners keep crap fish too, ours are just bigger and more fun to catch. You guys go in a small hole in the ground where the fish has no escape and catch them, atleast ours have a chance!! I'm not hating on anybody but seriously, stop the bull scat and enjoy fishing! Thats what it's all about!!
   comment# 36   - FlatsAssassin · PENSACOLA, FL · Apr 28, 2010 @ 10:43am

my cousin got bit 8 years ago and hes only geting use 2 the fact that it was a shark he been diving with them for about 10 years and he thinks it was a mistake if he can forgive them why cant others. ps dempseys a lair if his brother was killed give us a name and place and ill google it
   comment# 37   - jeff · england · Aug 29, 2010 @ 6:29am

I wonder how long Mako sharks live? This might be the SOB that devoured my buddy, Kim Seibel, near Sanibel Island, in 1982. I hope the fisherman and his buddies have a feast of shark steaks.
   comment# 38   - Bob Nelson · Formally of Key Largo · Aug 15, 2014 @ 5:33pm

Dont worry friends shark fishing will come to a halt even if its done by force. Not going to be to descriptive but im part of a small organization who tags the redneckers unknownkly. We call it headhunting and the rules are the same way that cannibals play by. I cant tell you how gratifying it is to hear these drunk nobodies scream. So if you want to see our planet's beautiful and natural habitat untouched JOIN ME!
   comment# 39   - joshua benthin · Portland, OR · Oct 16, 2014 @ 3:05pm
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