A Florida boat captain came to the rescue of a seven-foot tiger shark last month as he plucked a rusty hook from the creature’s mouth.
Elliot Grant Sudal, 29, also works as a “shark tagger” for the NOAA Apex predator tagging program, tracking shark migration routes, reproduction and growth patterns.
During a November excursion in Sanibel Island in Florida, Sudal was trying to tag a shark for research purposes and spotted the hook hanging from its mouth.
He helped lure the shark to land, where he got into the water and removed the hook from its mouth as his girlfriend and their two friends looked on and filmed the incident.
"It is very common to catch sharks with old rusty hooks stuck in their jaws, most from commercial fishing lines, and I've removed up to five hooks from one shark before,” Sudal told Caters. “Hooks don't simply 'rust away' like people think and barbless hooks and 'circle hooks' are safer and easier to remove. Only experienced anglers should attempt shark fishing as it carries many dangers — for the fisherman and the shark."
He added that there is a special way to catch sharks so they can be tagged.
“Shark fishing entails kayaking large baits hundreds of meters from the beach and dropping them off, as the rod and reel remain on the beach,” he said. “When a shark is hooked, the angler fights the shark from the beach, eventually getting them into the shallows where the hook can be removed and the shark can be tagged, measured, photographed and released.
Sudal said that most shark fishing occurs at night because “sharks are more active in low light conditions."