PHOTO: South Carolina Anglers Release Potential World Record Hammerhead Out of Respect

by Amy Myers

One. Thousand. Pounds. That’s how massive this hammerhead shark turned out to be when a couple of South Carolina Anglers hoisted it up. But once they got the exact weight, the group agreed it was only fair to let this giant beast back into the water.

The legendary story began when primary angler Pete Quartuccio and his friend decided to take a trip with Outcast Sportfishing Captain Chip Michalove. When the three embarked on their seaward journey, they had but one objective in mind – find the monstrous fish they saw circling the boat the day before.

According to Michalove, the shark had been circling their boat, and the next day, “she was waiting.”

Soon after spotting her, the anglers prepared for what would be the fight of a lifetime. After an hour at the reel, the trio finally brought the hammerhead in.

Once at the boat, the crew found that not only did this magnificent beast break a four-digit weigh-in. It also stretched nearly 14 feet across.

“She ripped off 400 yards in about 60 seconds,” Michalove recalled. “I released from the anchor and spun the boat to chase [the shark]. I knew she was going to be enormous, but I didn’t know of the enormity until we got her a little closer and I could see the width.”

Hammerhead Shark Could Have Broken South Carolina Record

The current South Carolina record for hammerhead fishing was a 588-pound fish an angler caught in 1989. Michalove’s catch beat this fish by at least 400 pounds and even rivaled the world record, a 1,280-pounder from Boca Grande, Florida.

Despite the potential record-breaking catch, the South Carolina anglers wanted this creature to live on.

“We’ve recaptured so many tigers, lemons, bulls, I owe them everything,” Michalove shared. “I’ve gotten a few messages on how I should’ve dragged her back, but there’s not even a question that we did the right thing.”

Before letting the hammerhead go, Michalove, of course, had to pose with his massive catch to commemorate the moment. Meanwhile, Michalove’s fellow anglers were understandably exhausted from the battle with the thousand-pound shark.

“They were so exhausted they could barely stand,” Michalove said, according to USA Today. “Pete crashed on the cooler and laid there in exhaustion, and his friend was so tired that I barely convinced him to just hold the camera while I reached over and grabbed the shark’s head for one quick photo.”

He continued, “I tried to get them to lean over for a picture, but they wouldn’t budge. So I threw a quick tag in the shark, popped the hook and sent her off.”

Even though the other anglers weren’t there for the picture, the conquest is one they won’t forget.