HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - A Hilton Head Island man says he now holds the record for the largest male great white shark electronically tagged in the Atlantic Ocean.
Chip Michalove with Outcast Sport Fishing has been tagging large sharks for years, but this past weekend, he said the male - named Hagans - is the largest male he has ever seen.
That fishing crew loaded up and headed a few miles out on the coast last weekend. When they got out there, they had a pretty successful day. They talked about coming back to the docks but decided to stay 30 more minutes.
“My crew was exhausted," Michalove said. "They said ‘let’s go back and celebrate, it’s been an amazing day,’ and I said, 'let’s get the chum rolling just one more time. Let’s see what happens.”
They hooked seven great whites and tagged four, but the extra 30 minutes landed them a new record. Michalove said they hooked the largest male great white to have been hooked and tagged in the Atlantic Ocean.
“It was a big fish. We’ve caught some females that were larger than that, but it’s really rare to get a male over 12 feet, and that one was the biggest male I’ve ever seen. It was a record-breaking day in many ways.”
Hagans, the 15 foot great white, weighed in at around 2,500 pounds. Once he was hooked, the team tagged him with a six-month electronic tag. The tag will measure a number of different things, and in six months, will detach from the shark.
“I’ve been catching everything from frogs to bats to everything, and just being attached to something that weighs thousands of pounds is, it’s amazing. I’ve seen so many of these things, but every time it happens, I can’t explain the adrenaline rush,” Michalove said.
Michalove said he’s excited to see where the shark travels over the next six months. He said the shark probably came to our area for the cooler water temperatures.
“They like the colder months. They aren’t here in the summer months. A lot of people who are worried about swimming in July and August when the tourists are here, there’s nothing to be concerned about. They are long gone. They like the cooler water.”
He said the sharks usually start showing up in December and move out around March. A few of the sharks that were tagged can be tracked with the link on his Facebook page.