HAMMER DOWN: Anglers wow crowd with hammerhead shark

Tina Harbuck

Nothing stirs a crowd and gets the camera’s flashing like a shark on the docks.

And not just once, but twice this happened on the docks Thursday afternoon at the 67th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.

A little after 3 p.m. Thursday, the No Alibi with Capt. Chris Schofield at the helm backed in and word soon spread they had a shark on the back deck.

In a matter of minutes, the crowd drew in close to the scales located behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar as those on the Rodeo barge got the scalloped hammerhead shark off the boat and on the ropes.

“I’m done for the day,” said shark angler Steve Nobles of Arkansas. “I’m ready for a nap.”

With folks snapping cell phone photos left and right, Rodeo weighmaster Bruce Cheves said “time is” then weighed the shark in at 151.2 pounds. The shark moved into the second place spot on the leader board in the shark category in the Charter Boat Division. First place is a 152.2-pounder caught on the Fish N Teem last Saturday.

Captain Schofield said it took them about 45 minutes to an hour to get the shark on the boat.

They were using a 50-wide with a bonito for bait.

“We were fishing for them. We had seen a bunch of them,” Schofield said.

The crew on the No Alibi wasn’t the only ones to see shark in the water on Thursday.

About 6 p.m., Capt. Allen Staples on the Al-Lin and his group from Georgia came in with a hammerhead of their own.

Thirteen-year-old Parker Maples of Valdosta, Ga. hauled in a 132.2-pounder.

Although there wasn’t a spot on the leader board for his catch, it was still a big catch for the young man.

Plus, several youngsters in the crowd took the opportunity to snap selfies with the shark.