‘The dorsal fin alone was as big as my leg’: Massive hammerhead shark tagged off Hilton Head coast

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 3:57 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2022 at 5:46 PM EDT
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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - A massive hammerhead shark was caught off the coast of Hilton Head Island and it likely would’ve set records.

But the crew that caught the apex predator, decided to release it back into the water.

“The dorsal fin alone was as big as my leg it was like oh my gosh, we’ve got a killer whale or a hammerhead on, this is nuts,” Chip Michalove, Charter Fisherman said.

For this fisherman, the second time was the charm.

“We saw this fish actually the day before and I couldn’t get her to eat.”

So he went back out to the same spot a day later, looking for the giant.

“I had some customers in from Virginia that were really really experienced and I knew that black tips or any type of mackerel they weren’t going to be impressed with that.”

Once they got it.

“Oh my gosh, it was like hooking a submarine.”

He says the hammerhead dragged the boat for 4 miles, and once they finally corralled it the records were an after thought.

“I love these sharks, they’ve given me a great life. If it wasn’t for them I don’t know where I’d be so if I can do something to help them I’m happy to do it.”

Michalove catches sharks year round, but this experience anchored deep.

“It’s just one of those things that take you a couple of days to recover from.”

He tagged the shark and now that he’s back to normal operations, hopes to see it again.

“I mean this is a fish that’s probably cycled though this area for probably 20 or 30 years so there’s a pretty decent chance she’ll be back.”

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