MILTON, Florida – Joey Polk of Milton reeled in a huge 805 pound mako shark last week. With his cousins Earnie Polk and Kenny Peterson, they documented the tremendous haul.
“It’s unbelievable, there are people in their lifetime that will never know that type of excitement,” says Joey Polk.
If the Polks had their way, the catch would have stayed just between the family too, but someone snapped a picture of him at a gas station with his catch and it caught fire on social media. It’s one of the most liked and shared items ever on WKRG-TV’s Facebook fan page.
Joey Polk says they keep a low profile for a few reasons. They don’t want people trying to ban land based shark fishing and they don’t want to scare off tourists with the impression the gulf is full of sharks.
“We just want to save our sport. The more people that know about it, the more people that crowd our beach with hundreds of people swimming. That’s not what we want,” says Polk.
Most of their sharks don’t come home in a pickup truck–or end up in pieces for dinner. Most fish just get a tag and a good-bye.
“Probably 95% catch-and-release, we do keep a lot of what won’t swim off sometimes,” says recreational shark fisherman Earnie Polk.
Normally these guys do post their catches on social media, but they usually wait weeks or months to post so other fishermen don’t flood the beach and possibly harm fish in the process.