By Ann Schmidt
Published April 30, 2019
Elliot Sudal was fishing off the coast of Captiva, Fla., when he caught the 13-foot tiger shark. According to an Instagram post, the shark was almost 7 feet around.
“Well I caught my biggest shark ever today - 158” male tiger shark,” Sudal wrote in the post. “The girth on this thing was 81”. Never seen anything like it, can’t imagine what it weighed. Tagged and blood samples collected, safely released, and tons of footage on the way.”
“One of the craziest fishing experiences of my life,” he ended the post.
Sudal reportedly hooked the tiger shark off the coast in his boat and reeled it in from the sand, NBC2 reported.
The shark wrangler was joined by evangelist Clayton Jennings, who posted about the tiger shark on Instagram on Tuesday.
“I still can't believe I had the opportunity to be next to such an incredible creature,” Jennings captioned his photo. “This is a giant Tiger shark, the world's second deadliest shark and a record for this area.”
“There was never a time I was worried or Elliot was worried while we were in the water with this male shark. His eyes would move around and he kept looking at us while we tried to get him unhooked and tagged safely,” he continued, in part.
Jennings then compared fishing for sharks with evangelizing, saying, in part: “I love shark fishing the same way I love fishing for people.”
Sudal is known for catching huge sharks and other fish and posting pictures of them on social media. He splits his time between Southwest Florida and Nantucket, Mass., according to NBC2.
The shark wrangler also takes blood samples from sharks for research, the outlet reported.
According to his website, Sudal works with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Apex Predator Tagging Program and promotes shark conservation and tagging.
Sudal also caught Vice President Pence’s attention in 2017 while he was shark hunting on Sanibel Island. He was attempting to reel in a 500-pound “mystery creature” when Secret Service agents swarmed the catch site. Pence and his family later showed up for a relaxing day on the beach, he wrote in a Facebook post. Pence joined Sudal and watched him catch a 13-foot smalltooth sawfish.