WATCH: Bull Shark Snatches Huge Mackerel off South Carolina Angler’s Line

by Lauren Boisvert

On June 29th, a man fishing in South Carolina almost caught a huge mackerel worthy of legend. Instead, he came away with an empty line but an amazing story. While he was reeling in his catch, a bull shark swam along and stole it right out from under him. The theft took place on a pier in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina.

Throughout the video, the angler’s companions can be heard urging him “don’t mess this up now.” The mackerel is a beauty; huge and silvery, most likely a king mackerel judging by its size. Then, the shark swims up, and the fishermen all warn each other, making sure to get the line out of there before the shark swims away with its prize. It’s cool to watch, probably not so cool to experience. The fishermen all go silent at the end of the video, like they can’t really believe what they just saw.

Shark Steals Mackerel from Fisherman; Plus, Brothers Catch Mammoth Alligator Gar On Rio Grande

Back in early June, two brothers, Gerardo and Edgar Benitez, caught an insanely huge alligator gar. They were fishing for gar in Falcon Lake, a reservoir on the Rio Grande on the Texas/Mexico border. The gar measured 7 feet, 8 inches, and was likely a minimum of 40 years old. The Benitez brothers posted images of their catch on Facebook, which drew criticism from some. Critics thought they caught the gar for sport, that it would then go to waste.

Gerardo Benitez was quick to shut down criticism, though, claiming that, no, they didn’t fish for sport, and that the meat wouldn’t go to waste. “We don’t waste the meat,” he wrote. “We actually share it with friends and family – nothing goes to waste.”

Alligator gar are a critical part of Texas rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. They are one of the most ancient fish in the world, dating back 215 million years ago, and sometimes can get up to 300 pounds. Alligator gar act a lot like sharks, in that they keep the ecosystem healthy and populations of other fish controlled. They’re also cool because alligator gar are relatively docile and sluggish, despite their toothy and prehistoric appearance. Gar are hard to catch as well, which makes the Benitez brothers’ catch even more legendary; alligator gar don’t eat anything they can’t swallow, so if they sense resistance on a line, they’ll let it go.

Texas Parks & Wildlife aims to retain fishable numbers of gar, populating rivers, reservoirs, and lakes with the giant fish by monitoring reproduction and harvesting. Anglers can only catch one gar per day in Texas, but on Falcon Lake, the reservoir where the Benitez brothers caught their gar, there’s a limit of 5 per day. Alligator gar are ancient, keep fish populations healthy, and are generally really cool looking. It’s worth the slime on your boat deck to catch and study even one of these magnificent creatures.