Video: Florida Students Reel in 700-Pound Hammerhead Shark
March 26, 2014
Armed with a custom rod, 14/0 big game reel, and circle hook baited with pieces of amberjack, Florida Atlantic University student Viktor Hluben set out on a night fishing trip last Tuesday that won't soon be forgotten. After a strenuous fight that lasted an hour and a half, Hluben and four friends landed a hammerhead shark off the Florida coast in Broward County that was estimated to be 14 feet in length and weighing close to 700 pounds.
Hluben resides in Boca Raton, FL and is part of a group called "Landshark Fishing," which focuses on nighttime shark fishing -- using kayaks to drop baits out far from the shore, and then landing the huge apex predators from the beach.
"We knew we had a giant fish on. We battled it for about an hour and 30 minutes, and when we saw the massive dorsal fin, we knew we hooked a giant shark," Hluben told West Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV about the experience.
Aside from the distinctive flattened structure of the head, the sickle-shaped dorsal fin is a key identifying trait of a hammerhead shark.
As seen in the final minutes of the video footage, Hluben reeled the shark near the surf zone so that the group could wrap a rope around its tail, bring it up to shore, and snap a few photos before cutting the line in order to release the giant animal back into the dark waters of the Atlantic ocean.
During the release process, the group appears to be quite conscious of not only the fact that they're handling a predator worthy of respect, but that they also need to work quickly to increase the chances of the shark's survival. After the leader line is cut, the hammerhead is turned, and then guided back out towards the open sea where it swims off with a few thrashes of its powerful tail.
According to Hluben's comments on the YouTube channel, the group uses "non-stainless steel old style hooks" that rust quickly, limiting harm if the hook is left inside the shark's mouth.
The Landshark Fishing video disclaimer to the public reads as follows:
"Do not try this at home'¦ We do not condone or support the killing of any shark species. We are a group of big game anglers with unconventional methods and conservation at the heart of our practice."
Have you ever reeled in a shark? Tell us your story in the comments!