Thinking of heading down to Florida to escape this never-ending winter? Maybe do a little sunning and swimming at the beach?
I’d confine my swimming to daylight hours, and, even then, I might think twice about doing it. That’s because a nearly 10-foot great white and a nearly 11-foot mako shark were caught from shores of northern Florida during the past two weeks.
Appropriately enough, the mako was caught from the pier at Navarre Beach, where much of “Jaws 2” was filmed during the 1970s. The great white came from the surf off Panama City Beach to the east.
And, oh yeah, Joey Polk and his cousins caught an even larger mako at Navarre back in April.
The trio who caught the great white tagged and released it. Polk usually does as well with the sharks he catches.
"We're definitely more on the conservation side of everything," Gabriel Smeby said. "We use big tackle and mainly circle hooks so it puts as little stress on the fish as possible and we can get a tag in them and get them on their way.
"I would say we probably release between 95 and 98 percent of all the sharks we catch."
Polk usually releases his sharks as well. But scientists wanted a closer look at a large mako. Anglers kept the meat, while researchers took the backbone, organs, and stomach contents.
No bathers or boats were found inside.
Meanwhile, up in Montana . . .
A Kansas City man caught a 38-inch, 16-pound northern pike while fly fishing for trout on the Bighorn River.
Northern pike are rare for that stretch of the river, especially ones that big. For about 30 miles below Yellowtail Dam - the stretch where the pike was caught - the Bighorn flows cool and clear, making it a productive and popular trout fishery, well-known around the world for rainbows and brown.
How did the non-native pike get in the river? Learn more here.