Big Mako Shark caught off Mississippi

Coast fishermen land monster mako


08. January 2012

BILOXI — Recreational fishermen landed a mako shark Sunday believed to be about 600 pounds.

They were fishing 85 miles out from Biloxi in an area known as the Horseshoes.

Tim King, 45, of Ocean Springs hooked the monster shark, while aboard Kevin Higgenbotham’s 36-foot boat Finatic. A crew of seven men fought the shark for about three hours before landing it. They got it aboard with help from a crane on an oil rig.

Higgenbotham of Biloxi said they didn’t know what they had hooked until the nearly 12-foot shark came completely out of the water 10 feet from the boat.

“He jumped six feet in the air, his whole body was out of the water,” Higgenbotham said. “Scared us all.”

The shark came out of the water four times during the battle and peeled off 1,000 yards of line. The men used pistols to shoot it 16 times, then dragged it backwards for an hour to make sure it was dead before Higgenbotham would allow it on the boat.

“He was a very violent fish,” Higgenbotham said. “He wouldn’t die.”

They planned to put it in cold storage Sunday night, weigh it this morning to see if it qualifies as a state record and then clean it and eat it.

“It’s a rare catch for us here on the Coast,” said Jim Franks, a fisheries biologist with USM’s Gulf Coast Research Lab called out to see the catch. Franks arranged to take DNA and other biological samples today, after the weigh-in.

“We don’t get one of these to sample very often,” he said, especially not that size.

Higgenbotham is a tournament fisherman with the Yellowfin that sports three, 300-horsepower Mercury outboard motors.

He said they were fishing for wahoo and trawling near a set of oil rigs, along a shelf, when King hooked the shark. He was using a heavy line with a steel lead so sharp teeth couldn’t cut it. They were fishing with an artificial lure and using ballyhoo as bait.

Higgenbotham said the shark was at a depth of about 100 feet when King hooked it, and it didn’t appear to realize it had been hooked at first.

The fight started at about 10:30 a.m. And it was 1:30 p.m. before they had the shark tied along side the boat.

Higgenbotham radioed a crane operator on one of the oil rigs to hoist the shark onboard.

He said he has hooked large makos before, but he had never had enough people, ropes and guns to land one.

Source: . Photo Credit: Amanda McCoy.




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