Just a couple days ago, an amazing series of pictures from photographer Adam Hanlon popped up on the website of the U.K.’s Daily Mail. While diving in the Bahamas, Hanlon experienced a close encounter with a monster tiger shark that, according to the story, wasn’t at all aggressive, rather just tasting the camera a bit to see if it was food. The article talks about the shoot, how peaceful the shark was, how curious, how beautiful…all the normal stuff you’d expect from a shark diving story. But it fails to comment on one element that I noticed right away. Do you see it?
tiger shark mouth
Somebody at some point laid into this beast with a big old circle hook. Best I can tell, that’s a thick mono leader, not steel. Now, it is possible that what we’re actually seeing is a long-line hook, though technically long-lining is illegal in Bahamian waters. It could have been part of a deep-drop rig for grouper. It doesn’t really matter; even if that hook came from a dedicated sharker, this tiger might have left some dude going, “What the heck did I just hook into?” Unless, of course, he caught it and clipped that leader. We’ll never know, but it’s not a bad ad for circle hooks. That thing is planted exactly where it’s supposed to be.