Alex Beck and Mark Martin may not have won the Flying Mako fishing tournament held in San Diego last weekend, but thanks to their buddy Keith Langford, they undoubtedly came away with the best fishing tale of the day, and the video to prove it.
While competing in the annual catch and release affair, Langford captured this incredible footage of a giant mako shark leaping from the water not once, not twice, but nine times, right in front of them. Have a look in the video below.
The incredible show turned out to be a wonderful 40th birthday present for Beck, who lives in Colorado, but was in Martin’s boat as part of an extended birthday weekend celebration with his buddies.
“We couldn’t have scripted it better,” says Langford. “I’ll admit, I was pretty scared when that thing came up to the boat the first time, but Mark was the perfect captain. He was giving us the play by play of what the fish was doing.”
Indeed, Martin, who runs a salt water fly fishing operation out of San Diego, has grown attached to the mako. “The San Diego coastline is a nursery for them. We’re usually out catching and releasing stuff in the 60- to 80-pound area. So to see something this big, on this occasion, was just really special. They’re incredible fish that we have a passion for protecting–that’s why all we do is catch and release.”
When the shark first approached, Martin said it was merely investigating, and would start circling them from a distance before coming back and hitting the fly. “And that’s exactly what it did,” says Langford. “And once it took that thing that’s when all the crazy stuff started.”
Beck, the angler, was never able to get it to close enough to the boat to claim credit for the catch, but the story and the video earned them some serious bragging rights when they got to shore. “I was talking to guys who’ve been doing that kind of fishing for decades and none of them had ever seen anything like that,” says Langford.
Martin estimated the shark to be 10 feet in length, and somewhere between 500 and 800 pounds. “The best part of the video is the reverence you get watching this beautiful creature,” he says. “And it’s fitting because the whole premise behind the tournament is promoting ‘the sustainability, conservation, and sound management of mako sharks and the other apex predators.’” Local guides Conway Bowman and Captain Dave Trimble established the tournament a few years ago, and are donating all proceeds to The Pfeger Institute of Environmental Research.
But of course, nobody was more thrilled than birthday-boy Alex Beck, who is the one who can be heard screaming, “Oh my god is this really happening right now you guys!?”
Yes, Alex. It really happened. Happy Birthday.
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