10 foot long Mako shark caught Near Panama City Beach
PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL (WJHG) - It's like deja vu, another shark reeled in off Panama City Beach over the weekend. This comes on the heels of a 10-foot shark caught the week before.
Matthew Pemberton, a guide from Off The Beach Shark Fishing, takes people just offshore from all over the country and helps make the big catch.
This week's version was a large 10 foot Mako Shark. "It took us an hour and a half to land him," Matthew Pemberton, a guide from Off The Beach Shark Fishing, explained. "Whenever he came up out of the water the first time, he actually breached the water if you can imagine that... a 10 foot Mako breaching the water right here on the beach."
Douglas Harlan is from Indiana and came down to Panama City Beach hoping to catch a little something. Little did he know it would be 600 pounds. It took six or seven people to carry the shark to shore.
"He told me in the beginning he'd be tickled to death if he caught a one foot or two foot shark," Pemberton said.
You could say he had a bit of beginner's luck. This was Harlan's first time shark fishing.
"I really didn't know what to think whenever I first started reeling it in and then it started getting closer to shore and jumping out of the water and stuff and you knew it was a big one," Harlan said.
"All these sharks we're catching are 300 to 600 yards out. That Mako was about 500 yards out in the water so it's out further than anyone's swimming," Pemberton said.
"There's never been a shark attack on Panama City Beach so just getting to see one is very rare and pretty exciting," David Demarest said, on behalf of the Panama City Beach Visitors Bureau. "Know your limits. Know your abilities. That's really what people should worry about rather than anything else."
Harlan's family and friends are proud of his huge catch. "We don't have fish that big back [home]," Harlan said. "You catch a 40 pound catfish back home and you're the talk of the day. A 600 pound shark kinda out does everyone on that."
This Mako Shark is feeding a lot of people. Pemberton has 250 pounds of shark meat.
On a side note, Matthew Pemberton's father, Dave, who first shared the pictures with us, has been in the hospital. Matthew asks for prayers for one of his biggest supporters.Read more at WJHG's website.