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California Fishing

Bowfisherman Lands New World Record Mako

by Andrew Vanlaningham   |  August 4th, 2014 0
Patrick Eger, right, with his 544-pound world record mako. Photo courtesy of Wausau Daily Herald.

Patrick Eger, right, with his 544-pound world record mako. Photo courtesy of Wausau Daily Herald.

As they say, records are meant to be broken. Sometimes, though, they’re not merely broken—they’re totally obliterated.

Patrick Eger, a Wausau, Wisc., resident and outdoor TV host, now holds the bowfishing world record for a mako shark. He nabbed the 544-pound shark off the coast of Southern California, near Catalina Island on June 15, shattering the old record by more than 300 pounds.

But this wasn’t just by chance, or a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Rather, Eger was well aware there were potential record breakers for the taking.

“We had done the research, we knew that the world record was attainable,” Eger told ABC 9. “We knew there were big sharks out there.”

Eger was filming the adventure for an upcoming episode of his show, Big E TV, when the 10½-foot mako made its appearance.

“The mako is a very aggressive shark,” Eger told the Wausau Daily Herald. “They are not afraid of anything. He came in to where the chum is coming from and starts hitting the boat, ramming the boat, sizing up the boat.”

As tensions rose, Eger readied himself with his bow in a standing position against the gunwale. He sent the single broadhead, which was attached to a steel leader and rigged with 200-pound line, into the mako as it came up to the boat.

Filled with adrenaline as the shark leaped and twisted up to nine feet out of the water, Eger fought for two hours before the world record mako succumbed.

“Unlike a lot of ocean fishing, there’s no chair and you’re not strapped into anything,” Eger said.

Eger’s record was officially weighed at 544 pounds, 8 ounces. The Bowfishing Association of America verified the shark before awarding Eger with two record certificates, the world record and California state record, on July 9. The previous record weighed 233 pounds.

“It’s the first record book animal that I actually have taken the time to put in the records,” said Eger.

Eger, though, is convinced there are larger makos out there that can easily break this record.

“Well, we’re proving that they get a lot bigger than that. We’re going to go back and try to break our own record.”

An experienced and passionate hunter, Eger owns and operates Big E Outfitters in Rothschild, Wisc., and is the host of the central Wisconsin based hunting program, Big E TV. While the mako expedition is offered by his outfitter service as part of worldwide host of options for clients, none were on this adventure.

Expect that to change next time.

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