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Fisherman catches 844-pound mako shark

DESTIN, Fla (AP) — Six friends went to a fishing tournament looking to catch some grouper. They caught a 844-pound mako shark instead.

Adlee Bruner and five others headed out into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday on a charter boat and came back with a record catch for the decades-old Destin Fishing Rodeo.

“It was tense,” Bruner, 47, said about the fight to land the 11-foot shark. “I’ve fished for 40 years. I’ve never seen one that big.”

Bruner and his fishing buddies were on the 52-foot charter boat “Twilight” with Capt. Robert Hill, about 70 miles southwest of this Florida Panhandle beach city.

The fishermen first noticed the big mako because it kept eating grouper and scamp they had hooked.

“It was like Jaws,” Hill said.

Hill hooked a two-foot amberine on as bait and tossed it out. The shark eventually hit it.

After a fight which lasted more than an hour, the shark was gaffed and eventually gave up after its tail was roped.

The men could not get the big shark in the boat. They tied the shark to the stern with three ropes and made the four-hour trip back to land.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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