(CBS12) BOCA RATON, Fla. - A giant, 14-foot hammerhead shark, weighing roughly 700 pounds, was caught right off a South Florida Beach.
YouTube video of the fisherman with his catch has received quite the attention.
Right now, throughout South Florida waters, there's a high number of sharks near the beach.It's typical this time of year as they migrate through the area. While we see a lot of reports about shark bites out on the ocean, we don't often see sharks being reeled in unto the beach.
"We called this fish a dream of a nightmare," said FAU biology student Viktor Hluben, "because for some people, it's a nightmare but for us its a dream."
Hluben has spent thousands of restless hours on the beach - with reel in hand - trying to catch a shark from the beach.One week ago, he did it off a Broward County beach, and video of that has gone viral on YouTube.
"Well right now, we're just under 500,000 [hits]," said Hluben.
Right away, Hluben says he knew a hammerhead was on the other end of the hook.
"They are just built for speed, they are built for agility, and they fight the hardest out of any shark species."
From start to finish, Hluben was on a harness for an hour and half. That whole time, his friends - full of adrenaline - knew once the shark came on shore, it was important to release it right away back into the water.
"And you are trying to do it as fast as you can, and as the best you can," said Ben Begovic, a friend of Hluben, "and that is why the survival of the fish, is number one with us."
"One of the best things is the fact that they let it go alive at the end," said Dr. Ray Waldner, a marine biologist at Palm Beach Atlantic University. "I think there is a fascination with just the challenge of baiting an animal that large."
Waldner says he's not surprised people are commenting with strong emotion both in favor and against catching and releasing the shark.
"I would say, do it, enjoy it, but at the same time think of things from the perspective of the fish."
Back at Hluben's apartment, he's watching YouTube reel in internet spectators. And, he can't wait to post another video of an even bigger catch.
"I've got the shark fever, that's all I have to say," said Hluben.
Waldner says there has been a considerable decline in shark population, especially in the Atlantic. One big reason is due to the demand for their fins in Asia.
For more information visit: www.facebook.com/landsharkfishing
YouTube shark video courtesy of:
- Viktor Hluben
- Brook Crist
- Ben Degovic
- Garrett Reingardt