Mako Shark Landed in Gulf May Break Record

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Ernie Polk and his cousin Joey Polk landed a shortfin Mako shark off the Floridian Gulf Coast while surfcasting Tuesday, and the fish might be a world record catch. The two spent over an an hour reeling in the 11-foot-long, 805 pound beast directly onto shore, and didn't disclose the exact location to ward off other fishermen.

Ernie Polk commented to the The Pensacola News Journal, "That's probably the best fish we ever caught." The cousins already hold a combined three world records from the International Land-Based Shark Fishing Association. Ernie Polk captured his first shortfin Mako world record in 2009, reeling in a fish that weighed 674 pounds, at just over 11 feet long. In 2010, Polk landed a 10-foot-9-inch tiger shark that weighed in at 928 pounds, only to have his record beaten the following month by cousin Joey, who caught a 12-foot-9-inch tiger shark weighing 949 pounds.

The shortfin Mako shark, or Isurus oxyrinchus, which means"sharp nose," is the fastest of all sharks, and can swim at a sustained 25 miles per hour. They are also high jumpers, sometimes leaping up to 30 feet out of the water, making them highly sought after as game fish. Mako sharks are also prized for their meat, which is commonplace in supermarkets in the northeastern United States. The present world record of an offshore catch of a Mako is an 11-foot-long, 1,323 pound specimen caught off of Huntington Beach, California.

Here is a clip concerning the record catch:

The Polks typically release the sharks they catch, but in the case of the Mako, the fight to reel it in had left it too exhausted to swim back out to sea. The Florida cousins loaded the fish into the back of a pickup, and drove it home.

After clearing some legal paperwork, they plan to sell the meat at market. Ernie commented, "It's a $10-per-pound fish at the fish market. It'll sell right along with tuna and swordfish. Between all of us, there won't be a bit wasted."

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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