It wasn’t an Olympian racing against an animated white shark, but it was a two-hour tug-of-war with a real life monster of a tiger shark.
Matthew Howard of Atlanta did battle with about a 12-foot long, 1,000-pound tiger shark on Wednesday while fishing aboard the Shock’n Y'all with Capt. Bill Waitsman and deckhand Mike Meyers.
“I’m really feeling it now,” Howard said a couple of hours after he stepped off the boat Wednesday. “It was a lot of fun and quite the adventure.”
Howard, along with family and friends, had booked a trip aboard the Shock’n Y'all in hopes of catching a monster during the Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week and captain and crew didn’t disappoint.
Fishing about 2 miles off the beach, using bonito for bait on a 20 ought Eagle Claw hook, Howard got the bite.
“I was pulling in my line to check the bait and then it felt like somebody put a 1,000-pound safe on it and dropped it down,” Howard said. “He hit it and just ran … there was no stopping it. I was just hanging on. It was crazy.”
Howard said each time he’d gain about 200 yards on it, the shark would take off running again. The shark did that about three times before he wore it out.
“It was real stubborn,” said first mate Meyers.
Howard wasn’t the only one to hook up with a shark. Mitchell, one of the younger guys on the boat, had about a 150-pound tiger shark on the line at the same time.
“It was a double-header,” Meyers said, noting the bites came within about five minutes of each other.
Once they got the big tiger shark up near the boat, Meyers said it was longer than his 12-foot gaff and it was 2 ½ feet wide across the head.
“The fish and customer respected each other when it was all said and done,” Meyers said.
After a few photos of both shark, up close and personal, they cut them loose.
“It was a beautiful creature of God. I had great respect for it after the fight,” Howard said.