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Video: Florida Students Reel in 700-Pound Hammerhead Shark

Video: Florida Students Reel in 700-Pound Hammerhead Shark
Viktor Hlbuen fought for 90 minutes before reeling in the 700-pound beast. Image via YouTube

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."

Mysterious Elk Die-Offs

In September of 2013 a herd of more than 100 elk were found dead in New Mexico. The elk had not been shot, so poachers were not to blame. Experts believe that the deaths were caused by epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD.

We rounded up the most bizarre mass animal deaths from the last decade. Read the full story.

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Hunter Stranded in Alaska for Seven Days

In mid September, Adrian Knopps was bear hunting with a friend when he became stranded with little food, no shelter, and no way to call for help.

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Florida Woman Mauled by Black Bear

On December 2, 2013, 54-year-old Susan Chalfant was out walking her dogs when she was mauled by a black bear in her residential neighborhood near Wekiwa Springs State Park in Central Florida.

Officials from the FWCC are calling it the worst documented bear attack in Florida history. Read the full story.

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Possible VA State Record Black Bear

On December 7, 2013, Tyler Napier killed a 728-pound male black bear in Charlotte County that may be Virginia's all-time bruin.

Read the full story.

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Man Dies After Hawaiian Shark Attack

On December 2, 2013 Patrick A. Briney of Stevenson, Wash. was kayak fishing off the coast of Maui when a shark bit his right foot, which was hanging in the water. His friend tried to stop the bleeding by tying a tourniquet, but was unsuccessful.

Read the full story.

Black Rhino Hunter Receives Death Threats

Corey Knowlton faced public backlash in January following a Dallas Safari Club fundraiser auction where he paid $350,000 for a license to hunt African black rhino, an endangered species. CNN reported on Friday that, after receiving multiple death threats from animal lovers, the Texas hunter and his family went into hiding in a Nevada hotel room under 24-hour guard.

Read the full story.

Wildlife Advocate Poaches Elk

Idaho wildlife officials shocked area residents with the announcement that wildlife advocate Marv Hoyt pled guilty to poaching two elk in early November, 2013.

Read the full story.

Video: Kayak Angler Fights Off Sailfish

Kayak angler Jasper Pons, 44, recently left the shores of Westbrook, South Africa with the intention of catching a few mackerel to bring home for dinner. Instead, he and a fishing buddy ended up with a sheer adrenaline rush and six minutes of rare video footage that documents an epic battle with a 'hot ' sailfish.

Read the full story.

Video: FL Students Reel in 700-Pound Hammerhead

Viktor Hluben went on a nighttime shark fishing trip that he will never forget. Find out what happened after the 90-minute fight.

Read the full story.

FWC Biologist Rescues Drowning Black Bear

Would you jump in the water to save a 6-foot tall, 375-pound Florida black bear? Find out what happened when Florida FWC biologist Adam Warwick did just.

Read the full story.

Have you ever reeled in a shark? Tell us your story in the comments!

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