Arms of Steel: Fisherman Catches Massive Hammerhead Shark in North Carolina

by Michael Freeman

One of the most fascinating aspects of fishing is how crazy things can get in such a short period of time. For a fisherman in North Carolina, a massive hammerhead he snagged likely wasn’t something he expected.

A paramedic in Caldwell County, Blake Cochran was fishing on a beach with his friends earlier this week. Before he knew it, something massive was pulling him towards the water. As it turns out, it was a 13-foot hammerhead shark.

Speaking to KKTV, he knew it was something special. “All of a sudden, that reel started screaming. It was like being hooked to a car. The biggest shark I’ve caught up to this point was like four feet, and this one when it pulled in – it was insane.” The news outlet posted a picture of it to their social media channels as well.

“Paramedic reels in massive hammerhead shark,” the caption begins. “Blake Cochran loves being a paramedic in Caldwell County, but his passion is fishing along the North Carolina coast. Now, he has a fisherman’s tale he will likely tell for the rest of his life – the time he reeled in a 13-foot hammerhead shark from North Topsail Beach.”

Interestingly, in states like Florida, reeling in a shark like that would be illegal, but it’s fine in North Carolina. He later released it back into the water.

Texas Angler Fishing From Pickup Truck Bed Snags Massive Hammerhead Shark

Blake Cochran isn’t the only one catching giant hammerhead sharks lately, it seems. Last month in Texas, an angler fishing from her pickup truck caught a huge hammerhead as well.

Jen Merchant has been fishing for over a decade now. She even has her own website, with her bio saying she “grew up running limb lines for catfish & frog gigging the lakes and creeks of East Texas.  Once she got a taste of the salt life, she was HOOKED!” Additionally, she regularly catches things like mackerel, trout, stingray, tarpon, black drum, redfish, and, you guessed it, sharks.

Merchant reports she and the shark struggled with one another for nearly an hour before she reeled it in. Talking to MySA about the experience, she said the shark put up a “really good fight,” among other things. “I was stoked. I’ve been trying to get one over 10 feet for a while. It was definitely satisfying to finally achieve my personal best. I couldn’t have done it without Tim Merchant and Dustin Hickey there to help every step of the way.”

After measuring the monstrous hammerhead at 11 feet and 6 inches long, she released it back into the ocean. For the rest of the day, she, her husband, and their friend retrieved DNA samples from marine wildlife and removed hooks from fish who encountered other anglers.