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Angler reels in 736-pound shark off Malibu

July 20, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Southern California sport fisherman had an amazing catch on Sunday.Eric Downs of Northridge was sport fishing, about 30 miles off the coast of Malibu on Sunday when he spotted an 11-foot shark.

Downs went out to sea to track down and catch an often elusive, and always dangerous, prey. He found it just after 2 p.m.

Using tuna as bait, he soon drew the attention of a shortfin mako shark.

As an avid sport fisherman, Downs wanted to claim his catch under the rules of the International Game Fishing Association. That meant he could only use the rod and reel to catch it.

Using a 100-pound line, Downs battled the shark for more than an hour. It finally came close enough to be brought on board the boat.

The shark proved to be a formidable and hefty adversary. When the shark was finally hauled in to the Marina Del Rey harbor, it weighed in at 736 pounds. That's far from a record, but Downs managed a very impressive catch as he prepares for an upcoming mako shark fishing tournament in Oxnard.

Attacks on humans by shortfin mako sharks are rare, but by all accounts a mako shark is a pretty serious fish. It can swim at speeds of up to 46 miles per hour and leap 30 feet in the air.


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