Well here’s something you don’t see everyday, and if you live in Alabama, basically never.
According to Gulf Coast Media, outfitters Dylan Weir and Blaine Kenny of Coastal Worldwide caught a 10-to-11 foot great white shark in Orange Beach, Alabama, making it the first ever great white ever caught in the state.
It all went down on March 7th at 4 AM.
Weir and Kenny don’t offer charters in Alabama, but were in Orange Beach fishing when they made the catch.
Weir contacted Jason Downey, chief enforcement officer for the Marine Resources Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to make sure they understood the guidelines of fishing in the state.
Weir has fished for sharks for nine years, and Kenny tagged along in 2021, and as you could imagine, this has to go down as one of their most memorable trips of their lifetimes.
Weir weighed in on the catch:
“I was in the kayak when they set the hook, and at the time I didn’t worry about it. Sharks don’t hurt humans, thankfully, so I wasn’t worried that he was hooking a shark while I am out there.
When I saw the result for the first time I was like, ‘Wait, I was in the kayak when that thing was eating our bait.'”
They were only in possession of the great white for 32 minutes before releasing it back into the water.
“That is something we try to push through the education side of people wanting to get into the shark game. You have got to use big gear. We are using a Tiagra 130. It is the biggest reel in production in the U.S. 1,600 yards of 200-pound braid with a 200-pound vinyl top shot. Then the leader was a 600-pound leader and 800-pound cable. We were using 55 pounds of drag especially when we knew it was starting to pull hard and a sizable fish.
The first thing that goes through our minds and the first thing that should go through anyone’s mind shark fishing is when that fish hooks and it is big, you can’t start pushing the drag up. It doesn’t matter if you are scared you are going to lose it or pull the hook.
You are now responsible and liable for that fish’s health. Get that thing in as fast as possible, and then get it out as fast as possible.”
Jill Hendon, director of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Fisheries Research and Development, also explained how although this was the first great white catch ever in Alabama, they’re more common than you think in the area:
“Many people don’t think of them as a true resident of the Gulf of Mexico, but they are present. Typically solitary in nature, they typically like cooler waters.
So, to me it makes sense that this would be the time of year that they would encounter them as opposed to during the higher water temperatures that are seen during the summertime.”
You can check out Weir and Kenny’s improbable catch here: