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‘We need a bigger boat’

A group of fishermen from Florida nearly had their 23-foot boat capsize last week after they landed what could be the largest short-fin mako ever caught on 30-pound fishing line.

Crew aboard the boat, named Sea Ya Later II, hooked the 12-1/2-foot shark and harpooned it with flying gaffs, news reports say. As the shark fought, the boat almost capsized the crew says.

“If [the shark] hadn’t been as tired as she was, this boat would be sitting on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico,” the boat’s captain says in a report.

The men contacted the crew of a 45-foot charter boat to assist, according to the report. It apparently took eight men to haul the 1,063-pound shark into the charter boat, the report says. After the shark died, the men transported it to Destin, Fla., where it was too heavy for the first set of scales at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Until the weight is verified, the largest short-fin mako ever caught on 30-pound line weighed 997 pounds and 11 ounces, the report says. It was caught off Sydney, Australia, in 1995.

Jason Fell