HILTON HEAD, S.C. — A South Carolina fisherman has quite the fish tale to tell his friends and family after reeling in a 2,500 pound great white shark this week off the coast of Hilton Head.
Chip Michalove said he's caught great whites before, but nothing like the 14-footer he hooked Tuesday night.
"The biggest shark I have ever seen jumps out of the water, completely out of the water straight up,” Michalove said. “My customer standing on the other side just about had a heart attack. Then we got the anchor in and just started chasing, and we were off."
That customer, Troy Bowman, is a math professor visiting from Tennessee. He said he only expected to catch red fish -- about 40 inches long.
"I sent some texts to my dad and it's funny. He's like, ‘Why don't you try to catch something bigger?’ So I sent him back later that night, ‘We did.’"
Michalove said that chase lasted four hours.
The two men had to call for backup after a few hours because they became exhausted trying to reel in the massive fish. They said once they brought it to the boat, it was so pitch black out that they had to use their iphones to get the hook out of the shark's mouth.
"We were both exhausted,” Michalove said. “I fought it for a while, he fought it for a while, I fought it. We just went back and forth, and I think I can't really feel the left side of my body today, but it was worth it."
He named the shark "wildcat" and tagged it with an acoustic tracker before setting it free.
The tracker will allow them to learn about the shark for years to come.
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