CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A pair of Corpus Christi anglers reeled in a big shark Sunday night just north of Bob Hall Pier.
“I’m stoked," Carlos Vera said. "I can’t believe how big it is."
“It’s amazing," Jeremy Rojas said. "People don’t usually catch sharks this big."
The duo estimates -- and cell phone video seems to confirm -- that the tiger shark they caught was likely 13-feet long. It came at the end of a two-day fishing expedition from the beach about a mile south of the pier.
A familiar sound alerted the anglers that they had something big on the line.
“About 6:30 we heard the (fishing rod) reels go off," the 14-year-old Rojas said. "I set the hook, and we were reeling it in.”
It would take them two and a half hours to bring the large shark to shore. Exhausted from the battle, the fishermen became concerned about the shark's health. So instead of getting an official measurement, they posed for a few pictures, and then released it back into the Gulf of Mexico.
"We know we caught it, how we caught it," Vera said. "And it’s not fair to the fish, because he didn’t do nothing to us. We just do it for the team sport.”
Word of their catch spread quickly on social media, inspiring other people to go to the same beach in hopes of catching the big one.
“That’s a monster!" first-time shark angler Jacob Hohn said Monday. "Beautiful fish. Beautiful fish. Huge!”
His short trip to Corpus Christi from Spring Branch, Texas ends Tuesday, but Hohn is optimistic about his chances.
"Hopefully I can catch at least a two-foot blacktip (shark)," he said. "But if I can land a tiger shark, I will.”
And if Hohn does hook a big one, he'll be in for a familiar fight reeling it in.
"It’s very hard," Rojas said. "It’s a lot of weight. You just got to use all of your weight, be strong. You just got to use a lot of effort.”