Poco Cedillo was fishing with friends at the Padre Island National Seashore in Corpus Christi, Texas, on July 14 when he made a catch he won’t soon forget. After struggling for a little more than an hour, Cedillo reeled in what turned out to be a 14-foot hammerhead shark.
Cedillo and his friends were able to snap some amazing photos of the shark, which was estimated to be just over 1,000 pounds. They were stunned to have caught the massive fish and attempted to release it back into the water. Sadly, the shark did not survive, an unfortunate consequence Cedillo said he never intended.
Cedillo’s story of his incredible catch and his photos were shared on the South Texas Fishing Association Facebook page:
Cedillo explained that once they caught the shark, they realized she seemed tired and weak, so they quickly took photos and measured her length before getting to work to release her back into the water. Cedillo added in his post that the shark’s fork length was 135 inches and her girth was 78 inches.
“Our main focus was to get her released quickly,” he wrote. “Well after 30-40 min of us holding her up into the current in 3-4’ of water we were faced with accepting the fact that she was done. We were so tired, shark rashed and disappointed that it sucked the excitement right out of us for a while.”
Cedillo and his friends were able to save the meat, though, and donate it to the Good Samaritan Rescue Mission the next day. Although he was devastated that he was not able to save the shark, Cedillo was glad they could at least make sure the meat was utilized.
“It’s not what we do,” Cedillo told ABC 11. “Most of us land-based shark fishermen are conservation-minded. We tag fish and release them for research. But this was just a bad deal.”