Underwatertimes.com News Service - October 14, 2007 15:40 EST
florida mako shark

The monster mako shark

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.