In a story reminiscent of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, one Texas angler found himself fighting a massive tiger shark for more than seven hours over the weekend. According to KZTV 10, Ryan Spring was fishing with his father when he hooked a 12-foot, seven-inch male shark off the coast of Port Aransas. The shark immediately starting dragging Spring’s boat, which was about the same size.
“It was like seven hours of pure pain and suffering,” Spring said. “But, it was all well worth it though.”
Saltwater anglers are well aware that larger sharks are quite capable of moving small vessels, and more than one kayak fisherman has been dragged along by a determined fish, but moving Spring’s boat for 15 miles is still a staggering feat. Spring said that he would occasionally set down the rod to get a quick breather, but it did not take long for the fight to pick up again. The angler recalled that on several occasions the shark was moving so fast and erratically it almost overturned the boat.
“It was dragging the boat in circles, all over the place,” Spring told CNN.
The anglers considered cutting the line several times over the course of the fight, but Spring said that he was just as determined as the shark. After being locked in combat with the fish for nearly eight hours, Spring and his father were able to land the shark and bring it to a nearby dock. They enlisted a total of 12 men to lift the shark onto dry land and hang it on a gaff. A veteran shark fisherman, Spring said that he would have released the fish if it was a female. The angler plans on donating the shark meat to charity.