A great white shark was reeled in and let go in Alabama in an extremely rare event.
Shark fishing guides Dylan Wier and Blaine Kenny, of Coastal WorldWide, were out on Orange Beach, Alabama, with clients at 4 a.m. March 6 when a line began reeling in the nearly 11-foot shark.
Wier had been dropping bait in a kayak when all of a sudden the fishing line started clicking at a rapid pace, signaling that something huge was attached.
Great white sharks are an endangered species and not commonly seen off the coast of Alabama. Shark expert Marcus Drymon at Mississippi State University told WALA-TV that this was a “very rare event” for this part of the world.
“If those guys continue to fish from the beach for the next several years [they’ll] never catch another one like it,” Drymon said.
In a video of the catch, Kenny attempted to begin reeling in the shark with the clients as Wier made his way back. A video of the catch showed the line bending as the shark attempted to swim away.
“This is a big fish, this is a big fish,” Kenny was heard saying.
It then became clear it would be a group effort to reel in the shark. The fishing guides at first believed it was a giant Tiger shark—one of the most common species in Alabama waters. Before reeling it in, it did not cross their minds that it could be a great white.
A great white shark was reeled in and let go in Alabama in an extremely rare event. Getty/RamonCarretero
“I have no idea what it is. It’s either a foul hooked, giant tiger or a mako,” Wier said to the camera. “But this is the most heavy-duty, odd fight I have ever seen. And very well could be the biggest shark [we] have ever seen. It’s very close.”
The beast was eventually reeled in to shore.
As Kenny went to bring it in, he screamed, “Oh my god, it’s a great white!”
Excited screams were heard in the video as Kenny dragged it in.
“That’s a friggin great white!” Kenny said as he held the tail of the huge creature.
“No way,” Wier said as he filmed.
“There’s so much power behind this tail,” Kenny said as he began to guide the shark back into deeper water.
Wier told the clients in the video that they probably caught the first land-based shark in the state.
“First great white to ever hit the beach in Alabama, you guys just did that,” he said.
The shark was caught and released back into the water in 63 seconds.
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