You’re gonna need a bigger truck. Or not.
Joey Polk landed an 805-pound mako shark while fishing off the Florida panhandle last Tuesday. Video of the epic haul captured the moment Polk and his cousins pulled the giant fish ashore — and then took the remains home to eat.
The 29-year-old, who lives in Milton, Fla., told WKRG that he’d prefer to keep a low profile, and doesn’t want any unnecessary attention paid to land-based shark fishing. But after someone snapped this incredible photo of the shark in the back of his pickup truck, fame was inevitable.
“The funny thing is, as I left the house to go out that night, I kissed my son and said ‘Daddy’s gonna catch up a big, big fish tonight,’ but I didn’t think it would be this big,” Polk said, according to SFGate.
Polk said he doesn’t want people to get the impression that gulf waters are teeming with sharks, and he doesn’t want people to go rushing out to the beach to try and land the big fish either. He said it’s all about the sport.
According to Polk, the majority of the sharks he pulls in get tagged and released. But after an exhausting, hour-long fight, Polk said that the 11-foot mako shark couldn’t be saved.
“We release about 98% of what we catch… we only bring in the ones too injured to swim away,” Polk said, according to SFGate. “We tried to revive the fish and send him back out, but he was too worn out to swim.”
The website reports that Polk butchered the shark and cooked it for his community. He said it fed about 250 people.
Polk told the New York Daily News that the mako shark is the largest of its kind caught from shore, according to the International Land-Based Shark Fishing Association. Polk also holds the association’s record for the largest tiger shark caught from shore in Florida — a 949-pounder that he caught and released in 2010.