A potential world record setting dogtooth tuna recently hooked off the coast of Tanzania became shark food as the angler battled the large fish to the boat.
The one that got away is often the basis of many a “fish” tale told by any angler. Whenever an angler loses a big fish, it often becomes a lost record once the story has been retold enough times. However, in the case of this dogtooth tuna, it is the one that only partially got away.
A large and hungry shark is the one to blame in this case. After the angler fought the tuna’s aggressive runs, it soon became apparent that something was in pursuit of the fish.
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“It took about 10 minutes of trying, then we finally got a take,” Sport Fishing Tanzania explained to GrindTV. “We all knew it was a big fish. The take was ferocious, extremely aggressive, and terribly fast. And the reel was screaming. There were several sudden changes of directions at very fast speed, then the fight style changed.”
It turns out that a shark decided it looked good enough to munch on, and proceeded to eat the fish’s entire body in one bite.
“It had become very powerful but quite constant, which is when we believe the shark attacked and started taking away the fish in its mouth,” Sport Fishing Tanzania explained. “Then eventually cutting through its flesh in one single bite, and the leftover piece was reeled in.”
The shark was kind enough to leave the head attached to the line which gave the people on the boat a chance to see just how big this fish might have been.
The current IGFA all-tackle world record for dogtooth tuna is 230 pounds. Fish of that size have been caught twice; once in 1993 and again in 2007.
Although it will never really be known if the fish in question would have broken the record, the size of the head left behind by the shark tells a story of what could have been.
“From the size of the head, we reckon the fish would have been our biggest ever brought to the boat, and that it would have beaten the all-tackle world record,” the charter fishing company said to GrindTV.
The angler who was on the other end of the line may have not broken a world record, but they are likely to never forget this day and the incredible thrill of fighting such a large fish… well, two if you count the shark!
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