A team of anglers seeking trophy cobia ended up with a goliath mako shark instead during a recent fishing tournament near Destin, Florida.
Pete Thomas Outdoors reported the anglers were off to a good start with the 40-pound cobia they landed. But that fish quickly became a distant memory when they spotted a mako shark just 15 feet below the surface of the water.
Randy Messer - the angler who caught the cobia - threw out some live fishing bait and started a battle with the shark that would last two hours. The monster mako shark fought so hard that it dragged their boat - the Shure Lure - nearly two miles out to sea.
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"It was pretty impressive watching a 700-pound shark clear the water like that," said the boat's skipper Don Dineen. "It was doing flips and everything."
The crew used gaffs to secure the huge mako shark, but it was so big that they had to call on a deckhand from a nearby boat to help tie the tailrope around it.
They spent five hours hauling their monster catch back to the Fishing Fleet Marina dock in Destin.
A forklift was used to unload the shark and hang on display that evening on the dock. An estimated 300 people came to see the massive mako shark.
"Word had spread what we were bringing in," said Dineen. "I have a friend who owns a restaurant in the harbor and he told me his clientele cleared out when they saw the shark when we went by. They all ran over to watch us unload our catch."
As for the shark, the crew sold the meat as table fare. They plan to donate the proceeds to charity.
Have you ever had a battle with a shark at sea? Share your experiences in the comments section below.