Howell, Mich. (Livingston Daily) -- Dan Gee has caught and killed a lion, a kudu (African antelope),warthogs and reeled in some big fish during his 40 years of hunting andfishing.
The 52-year-old Michigan man, who has traveled to nearly 50 countries for his outdoor adventures,has endured some long workouts nabbing his trophies.
Yet nothing compared to the big fish - a 15-foot thresher shark - he hooked on April 2 during a family vacation in Florida.
"This is the biggest and strongest fight ever," Gee said.
He said it took more than three hours to haul in the shark, which he estimated was over 15 feet long and weighed 700-800 pounds.
"I've never caught anything like this," he said. "It's a pretty impressive fish."
Hesaid thresher sharks are known for their large tails, which can be 6feet long. He said a thresher shark smacks its prey with its tail,stunning the fish, and then turns around and eats the prey. He said histhresher shark had "eyeballs are about the size of a softball and ahalf."
He said theshark was hooked in its tail about 400 feet deep, and unlike otherfish, he said it doesn't surface; it goes straight down. He was buckledinto a chair, his fishing pole was secured into the chair, and he spentthree hours reeling in the shark.
"My arms and legs felt like rubber for four days," he said.
Assoon the shark was pulled close, he said, the crew saw it was athresher, an endangered species. Therefore, they took some photos of theshark, tried to get some measurements and let it go back into thewater.
"It swam away fine," he said.
Because it's an endangered species, he said that he would have faced serious fines if he had killed it and hauled it in.
Geesaid he believes the shark he caught could have broken a record inFlorida, but he's not clear how the catch would be verified. He saidhe's hoping the photos will help verify his shark as a record catch.
Gee,owner of Action Asphalt in Green Oak Township, said he's been huntingand fishing since he was about 10 years old. He has traveled toHonduras, Panama and Costa Rica for fishing expeditions.
Onthis trip, he was traveling with his 15-year-old daughter, Savanna, hisfiancee, Sunny Sutton, and her three daughters. They left FortLauderdale on a charter boat for a six-hour trip and began fishing forblack-fin tuna. He caught several tuna, and his daughter caught one.
Unfortunately, his fiancee and children didn't enjoy themselves.
"She and her three children were sick the whole time," he said.
Gee said they began fishing for swordfish and hammerhead shark when he caught the thresher shark.
He said his family was "freaked out" when the shark was pulled alongside the boat.
"To have a monster like that, you hate to let it go, but it's the best thing to do," he said.