Florida Angler and shark outfitter Blaine Kenny was staked out on a beach between Destin and Pensacola last Wednesday when something huge took hold of the yellowfin tuna head he was using for bait. After an hour-long fight, he hauled the monster on the end of his line—a massive great white shark—into the shallow surf. According to a video that Kenny and his fishing partner Dylan Wier later posted to Youtube, the shark weighed an astonishing 1,200 pounds and measured more than 14-feet in length.
Kenny and Wier set up on Santa Rosa Island’s Navarre Beach late at night on Tuesday, Jan. 30, they said in their video documenting the outing. They used kayaks to drop their baits far from the beach. Kenny’s line was rigged with the head of an 80-pound tuna, while Weir’s rod was baited with the head of a swordfish he’d caught during a recent off-shore trip. It was around 8 a.m. the next morning when the white shark engulfed Kenny’s tuna head and his drag started screaming.
The video shows Kenny fighting the enormous shark from the beach, wearing a waist harness and a fighting plate for added support. Suddenly, Kenny points the surf and starts yelling. “He just jumped!” the angler says. “Full breach. Not a thrash. Full breach!”
While Kenny fought the shark, Wier dispatched a drone that captured some remarkable footage from above. The aerial video shows the giant shark thrashing through shallows with a visible gash across its back. According to the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC), which catalogued the details of Kenny’s catch research purposes, the large wound was probably inflicted by a boat.
“Meet WS Wonder! Last week, angler Blaine Kenny (Coastal WorldWide) posted footage of a white shark he caught off Pensacola, Florida with a boat strike wound,” the AWSC wrote in a recent Facebook post. “From the footage, our research team determined this was a new shark not previously identified and it will be added to our White Shark Catalog available on the White Shark Logbook.”
Around the 17-minute mark of the video, Kenny finally pulls the great white in close to the beach. With a few onlookers gathered on the shore, Both Kenny and Weir wade out into the waves next to the apex predator. Kenny reaches around the shark’s snout and removes the hook, then poses for a photo holding its tail fin before watching it swim away. The video has been viewed more than 318,000 times since the shark fishing duo posted it to Youtube on Jan. 31.