Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Fishing catch unfortunately ends up being a great white shark

A great white shark, estimated at more than 8 feet long, was caught by Rick Brackins of Tampa on a recent trip to the Florida Middle Grounds aboard the Sea Born with Richard Perez of Tampa.

The shark photos were forwarded to Mote Marine Labs in Sarasota, where Bob Hueter, director of the Center for Shark Research, identified it as a great white.

``Great whites are rare in the Gulf in summer, but not unheard of,'' Hueter said. ``The large dark eye and the teeth identify it positively.''

Brackins said the shark grabbed a cut bait fished on bottom for grouper. Though he had only an 80-pound-test monofilament leader, the hook caught in the corner of the jaw and evaded the razor-edged teeth. He said it took about 25 minutes to bring it to the boat. The shark was broken off and swam away in good condition after the photos, Brackins said.

Though it was a big fish, the shark was a baby as great whites go. They're known to reach lengths of 21 feet and weights of more than 4,000 pounds.


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