A Texas angler won a marathon battle with a giant tiger shark over the weekend from a Corpus Christi beach, but chose to tag and release his quarry rather than kill it.
Wayne Wimer, a veteran shark angler, was at the rod and reel for 3 1/2 hours before landing the 11-foot, 4-inch shark. (Tiger sharks can measure up to 14 feet.)
“Shark Week, Texas-style,” he told 6 News, which used photos by Barney Welch for its report (posted immediately below).
Shark catches have been in the news lately, another being the Sunday capture in Florida of a 5-foot hammerhead that was initially thought to be giving birth as it was being hauled ashore. (The supposed shark babies were actually fish called remoras.)
The hammerhead shark died despite attempts to revive the predator.
Wimer, who was with several shark-fishing buddies, chose to handle the rod for the duration of the struggle.
“One guy actually brought me a chair to sit down on … at some point in time,” he said. “Because my legs were shaking, my lower back was killing me, [and] I had no energy left.”
Fortunately, they had a tracking tag leftover from a recent tournament, donated by the HARTE Research Institute/Gulf of Mexico Studies.
HARTE scientist Matthew Ajemian told Action 10 News that the capture and tagging effort was exciting news.
The report also featured local captains saying that local shark sightings have been up lately.
When asked whether Gulf Coast swimmers need to be worried about giant sharks swimming in coastal waters, Ajemian chose his words carefully.
“They are potentially dangerous animals; I’m not trying to say that they’re not,” he said. “But for the most part we interact with them safely without even knowing it.”
Tiger sharks are found in temperate and tropical waters throughout the world. They’re not discriminate about what they eat and will prey on everything from fish, to turtles, to marine mammal carcasses, to human-produced garbage.
They feed primarily at night, which is good news for swimmers. But they have been implicated in several attacks on humans over the years.