While everyone was focused on the potential world record mako caught last week in California, another mako off the New Jersey coast also made headlines.
On June 4, two Garden State anglers got more than they bargained for near the Manasquan Inlet when they hooked an 8-foot, 303-pound mako–and it leapt into their 31-foot boat.
Clint Simek of Brielle, NJ and Tom Rostron Jr. of Wall, NJ described the incident in the Asbury Park Press, saying they were simply in the area on Rostron’s boat, TNT, scouting for potential areas to hold shark fishing tournaments later this month. By mid-afternoon, the men had caught and released 14 blue sharks, and as the wind calmed and conditions improved, they were eager to see what else they’d find. That’s when the big mako showed up.
“We were trying to feed bait to him. I reeled up our deep rod and felt him eat the bait,” Rostron said. “As soon as he felt the hook, he shot 15 feet in the air.”
The fish continued to fight and jump close to the boat, even splashing the anglers at one point. Seconds later, the shark did a backflip into the bow of the boat.
“At first we were in shock when he was in the boat. Then he started thrashing and we were like ‘Oh My God, we have a big problem. This thing is going to eat us,'” Rostron said.
There was little the two men could do while the big shark thrashed about, biting anything near its jaws, including two broomsticks, seat cushions, and stereo speakers. Eventually, Rostron was able to get a gaff in its gills while Simek tied the fish down. The two motored back to the dock where they weighed it and snapped photos.
Ronston posted this photo of the mako on his Facebook page.