Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Angler Hand Feeds 14 Foot Hammerhead and Nearly Loses Hand

In this 'look-back' video from 2010, we see several anglers fishing for Florida tarpon when a 14' hammerhead decides to steal the show.  After consuming the majority of the tarpon, one angler decides to hand feed the shark and comes close to getting his hand nabbed.

We've never shared this video before because it came out a few years before we started this site. But over the years, it has appeared on our radar many times as people have reposted it with their own various titles.  In giving proper credit to the original owner, we of course are posting the original version.

In the world of sharks, you just never know what is going to pop up on the radar.  This video happens to be one of the craziest encounters I've witnessed involving a hammerhead shark.
And though I fully appreciate the adrenalin rush everyone on the boat was experiencing, for the one guy to take it to the next level and hand feed the hammerhead from the boat is just plain nuts.  Sure he has a story for the ages but the outcome could have easily been different as the shark appeared out of nowhere and it was just pure luck that the shark only latched onto the fish.  The guy's hand could have easily been part of the mouthful.

The action takes place at Long Key bridge near Duck Key, Florida. One of the appeals of the video is taking in the scenic beauty in the first minute or so as they fish near the bridge.  Another appeal is listening to the chaotic dialogue as events unfold. With that said, here are listed highlights.

Key points:
1:25 - Hammerhead shark arrives
1:55 - They get the tarpon to the side of the boat and quickly release it so it has a fighting chance against the hammerhead (kudos to them for their sportsmanship)
2:30 - Although released, the tarpon gets taken by the hammerhead.
2:45 - Anglers retrieve the tarpon remains 
2:52 - Angler begins dangling the fish remains in the water and says, "I want the hammerhead to take this out of my hand right now."
3:00 - Hammerhead hits the bottom of the boat & we get a good view of the shark.
3:19 - Hammerhead surprises angler and rips remains out of his hand.
3:50 - Hand feeding replayed in slow motion.

The video was posted by Kevin Johnsen and has over 2 million views.  If you have some free time and want delve into the world of harsh comments, some of the 17,000+ comments are brutal and some are just plain humorous.  Also, we have included the video description in its entirety at the bottom of this post.

Video description: Tarpon fishing under Long Key bridge near Duck Key, Fl. After a 20 minute fight with a tarpon, a 14 foot long hammer head shark attacks and eventually eats the tarpon. We tried our best to protect the tarpon by running it down and creating as much noise and bubbles to confuse the shark and hide the tarpon. After a quick release, the shark returns and I aggressively circle the tarpon as the shark slices at it boat side. After about 5 hits, the shark wins and swims off with the tarpon in its mouth. Moments later, half of the 65lb tarpon floats up and I grab the remains to add to the documentation. The shark returns on a high speed pass and bumps the boat with significant enough force to make Julie scream. I give up on the carcass and Corey gets his hands on it just as the hammer head shark strikes again, this time claiming the remains of his dinner. As this massive shark rolls into a dive, Corey gets a tail grab before it is all over. Conservative size estimations are 14 feet long at about 400lbs. This is the best shark attack footage I have ever seen. This was recorded in HD and is available for resale.