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Hauling in a hammerhead

David Adlerstein
The Apalachicola Times

It was a stormy morning on St. George Island Saturday, and Dale Taylor and James Hutchins rode it out.

"We battled 30 to 40 mph wind gusts all day," Taylor said. "We struggled getting lines out 200-plus yards due to surf conditions. We were getting ready to eat some chicken from the coastal market when my reel went to screaming.

Dale Taylor, standing, and James Hutchins work to haul in the hammerhead.
Dale Taylor and James Hutchins bring in their great hammerhead.

"My partner grabbed the rod  and set the hook as I got my harness on. I strapped the reel in and fought this fish for 40 minutes," he said.

Turned out the two men at about 1 p.m. had landed a nice, healthy 11-foot great hammerhead shark.

 "It was quickly released, we didn't put a tape in it due to the FWC regulations on protected species," said Taylor, who hosts the Forgotten Coast Shark Tournament every year.

"This is a rare catch for our area," he said.