Young angler with heart condition helps land 1,000-pound tiger shark

Young angler with heart condition helps land 1,000-pound tiger shark

Outdoors

Young angler with heart condition helps land 1,000-pound tiger shark

Nearly a week after two clients caught and released a 1,000-pound tiger shark off Hilton Head, S.C., Capt. Chip Michalove is still breathing a sigh of relief.

Not because the shark posed danger related to its massive jaws, but because one of the clients, perhaps 20 years old, had a heart condition and probably should have been targeting smaller game.

Angler with heart condition poses with 1,000-pound tiger shark. Photo: Chip Michalove

Michalove, who caught and tagged the same shark in 2013, revealed Sunday that he learned about the young man’s heart condition about 30 minutes before the shark took the bait last Tuesday afternoon.

“About 30 minutes before connecting to this 12-footer, I get warned that he has a serious heart condition,” Michalove, of Outcast Sport Fishing, explained on Facebook. “That his mom warned everyone on how he shouldn’t do anything strenuous or lift more than 50 pounds.”

The warning came from an older passenger, who did not fish. Michalove, who did not disclose names, was unsure of the man’s relationship to the younger angler, or to his mother.

1,000-pound tiger shark about to swim to freedom. Photo: Chip Michalove

“When I hear this, I was ready to head in,” the captain continued. “We’re an hour from the dock and if something happens to the guy, I’ll never recover. I honestly wouldn’t have booked him if I had known… it’s every captain’s nightmare. So of course, we hook a 1,000-pound tiger shark and the chase begins.”

Michalove maneuvered the boat to minimize the struggle, while keeping an eye on both anglers, who were taking turns fighting the mighty predator.

“Him and his friend hand the rod off about every 5 minutes as we slowly put the brakes on this shark,” Michalove said. “I’d check on how he was feeling literally every 2 minutes, and when he seemed aggravated with my constant questions, I just had to explain that that I’m checking on you every minute, and that’s how its going to be.

“As the fish got close, the guys were whipped. Two kids, about 20 years old, now had this shark straight under the boat. This is the hardest part. The angle of the line going straight down amplifies the pressure on your forearms and lower back. At this point, I give the rod to his friend, instructing him that he was going to land it and not to give the rod back, that it was too difficult.”

The healthy angler cranked the reel a few times, but returned the rod to his friend, who reeled the shark to the boat. “Amazingly, the the kid brought this giant up,” Michalove said. “Quite a scene to witness!”

After the 45-minute fight, Michalove took a reading of the tag to confirm that it was the same shark he caught in 2013, and set the predator free.

–Images are used with the permission of Chip Michalove

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