Brian Cantrell caught a piebald blacktip spinner shark near Gill Crest Texas a while back.
Piebaldism and albinism are very rare in nature, especially in sharks. And while animals born into this world with no camouflage typically don’t last long, they’re beautiful natural specimens to behold.
Cantrell, who has been surf fishing for 25 years, was in Texas with his wife on a beautiful day when he hooked into the rare shark. He was using a unique bait as well- cut stingray.
Brian uses a kayak to paddle his lines out anywhere from 350 to 1,000 yards. And he was using what he calls his “light gear” that day: a Penn International 50 wide reel spooled with 40-pound test.
The pair only caught three sharks that day, but the rare blacktip was an unexpected catch to say the least.
The shark was around 30 pounds and close to four feet in length, so it put up a nice fight. After taking a few photographs the couple released the shark back into the sea, and it was still very much alive.
Afterwards Cantrell was curious about the rarity of his catch, so he contacted George Burgess, fisheries biologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History, and the director of the International Shark Attack File.
Burgess stated not only that he had never seen a report of a similar specimen being caught by an angler, but that he’d never heard of one being seen at all.
This shark was no giant, but it was likely three to four years old when these photos were taken back in 2009. That means this guy lived for years as a small juvenile shark, basically defenseless, with no way to conceal itself. And that seems as if it’s somewhat of a miracle.
I also found it remarkable that no other internet news website thought the shark was newsworthy. Save a picture in Cantrell’s local newspaper, the extraordinary catch was basically uncovered. Wide Open Spaces certainly thinks otherwise.
Nice job, Brian.