Mako Shark Catches Fisherman

Mar 30th, 2011 | By | Category: Science and Nature

The shark had apparently seen the end of Jaws one too many times, and took its imitation of the star one step too far. But Jason Kresse would fare better than Captain Quint.

The 29-year-old Freeport, Texas resident, fresh from red snapper fishing, was helping two crew members dump fish guts into the water 50 miles off the Gulf of Mexico at 3:45 am Monday, when he heard two big splashes in the distance. Then he felt something hit the side of the boat.

He looked to see an 8-foot, 375-pound mako shark in the back of his boat.

Makos, capable of swimming fast enough to run down tuna and swordfish, are renowned for their acrobatic leaps over the waves, making them one of the most prized catches in the sea. But usually you have to catch them. They don’t catch you. And if they do, look out: they do eat meat, and they’re equipped for the job.

The shark began thrashing around dangerously with its razor-sharp teeth and sandpaper-like skin. Kresse and his crew couldn’t safely get close enough to toss it back into the water. They had to remain on guard at a safe distance for hours to wait for it to spend itself out before it died. By that time the boat was a mess.

Kresse’s crew had to use a forklift to remove the beast’s carcass from their boat. Then they realized they didn’t have a permit to catch sharks, so they contacted federal fishery officials. Fortunately, the officials explained, there was no violation: there’s no law against sharks catching fishermen.

The shark now sits proudly on display at a seafood business in Freeport.

“I’m going to get a mount of it,” Kresse said. “A fish jumping in your boat, 400 pounds, that’s unbelievable.”

Apparently the fish has already gained 25 pounds since it was caught. Such is the way of all great fish stories.

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