ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — Dylan Wier and Blaine Kenny were having a relatively boring night on Sunday. They had been sitting on their fishing line with their clients in Orange Beach, Alabama, hoping for a bite.
The two shark fishing guides never would have guessed that just before sunrise they were about to catch a 10-foot-long great white shark. Their catch is believed to be the first great white caught in Alabama.
“As soon as we got our hands on that fish, I think I blacked out for a quick second, just because of the adrenaline, and then got right back into action and got that fish out as quick as possible,” said Kenny.
They estimated that the shark weighed between 800 and 1,000 pounds.
“I’m in the kayak coming back into the beach,” said Wier. “Blaine over here, my business partner, he sticks that thing from the beach and immediately we knew we had a really big fish.”
Amidst the chaos, it took an all-hands-on-deck effort between six people to get the massive shark to the shore.
The two say they’ve caught their share of sharks before, but never like this.
“We’re always on kind of a species hunt, checking off new boxes. And pretty much as far as the shark side goes, we thought we had checked every box here in the Panhandle,” said Wier. “But we had one surprise left that we didn’t think we’d ever see.”
A catch like this is rare, especially as the population of great white sharks declines.
Regulations on commercial fishing of great white sharks protects them from becoming endangered or extinct. Wier and Kenny quickly released their once-in-a-lifetime catch back into the Gulf.