Sometimes what you find on the end of your line isn’t exactly what you expected. Australia native Brendon Hilder was shore fishing on Western Australia’s Shelly Beach when he reeled in the surprise of his life: a 13-foot tiger shark.
As reported in The Albany Advertiser, it took Hilder two hours and a little help from a fellow beach-goer to muscle the massive tiger shark to shore on nothing but 200-pound hand line.
The fight nearly wiped him out. In an interview with ABC News, he claimed that “an hour and 40 minutes into the fight, I was ready to give up.” That’s when he asked another person to help wind the line for him and give his arms a rest.
Tiger sharks are well-known for their fierce reputations and can prove to be quite a challenge even for the boldest anglers. They possess tremendous fight and have a habit of attacking pretty much anything. There are even stories of tiger sharks bumping boats and jumping aboard. Anglers seeking these striped predators should be aware that, much like tarpon, they also have a habit of going airborne when hooked.
After taking pictures, Hilder released the shark back into the water with some help from bystanders. He was, however, contacted by wildlife officials after news of his catch was made public, as tiger sharks are a protected species in many countries and there are heavy fines for those who injure or kill them. Luckily for Hilder, his catch was accidental and he released the shark shortly after pulling it to shore, leading officials to conclude that he did nothing wrong.
Photo credit: Tiger Shark in Galeocerdo cuvier, Carcharhinidae, Bahamas, The Caribbean — Getty Images