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Experienced fisherman Owen Prior made a personal record catch when he reeled in a 12-foot tiger shark at Jacksonville Beach in Florida. Prior, who runs First Coast Surf Fishing, described the experience as unforgettable, despite having caught hundreds of sharks before. The massive shark took roughly 25 minutes to reel in, and since tiger sharks are protected in Florida, Prior snapped a quick picture before releasing it back into the water. This catch was the highlight of Prior’s fishing career so far.

Prior and his friends had been waiting at the beach for around 12 hours when the shark bit his stingray bait at 4 a.m. He described the moment as exciting, as his friend woke him up with screams of “Owen!” before he ran down to the hook and started reeling in the shark. He noted that tiger sharks are known to be lazy fighters, and despite their intimidating appearance, they may not put up as much of a fight as other shark species. Prior’s previous experience and knowledge of shark behavior played a crucial role in successfully reeling in the massive tiger shark.

Reflecting on the experience, Prior emphasized the importance of maintaining a smooth release process for the shark. He explained that he doesn’t use barbs on his hooks to make the removal process easier for both the shark and himself. Prior expressed gratitude for being able to safely remove the hook and watch the shark swim away back into the ocean. He described the encounter as a great experience, highlighting the power of the large shark and the satisfaction of witnessing it return to its natural habitat with a free meal.

Looking ahead, Prior shared his plans to target tarpon in his next fishing excursion. Despite being known for his shark catches, Prior mentioned that he’s not solely focused on sharks and has successfully reeled in a huge tarpon in the past. He expressed his anticipation for the upcoming tarpon season, mentioning that the water conditions seem promising for their presence. Prior’s passion for fishing and his diverse interests in various fish species showcase his dedication to the sport and his appreciation for the unique experiences it offers.

In a separate incident, a Florida man survived a shark attack after being pulled underwater by an “apex predator.” The man narrowly escaped a serious injury to his femoral artery during the encounter. This incident serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of sharks in their natural habitat. With proper precautions and knowledge, like those demonstrated by experienced fishermen like Owen Prior, it is possible to safely enjoy fishing in the waters where these majestic creatures reside. Prior’s successful catch of a tiger shark serves as a testament to his skills, experience, and respect for the marine environment.

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