South Carolina Angler Catches 1,000lb Hammerhead Shark, Throws It Back

A South Carolina angler caught a huge, 1,000 pound hammerhead shark and released it back into the water.

Chip Michalove, who owns fishing charter company Outcast Sport Fishing, had been out with angler Pete Quartuccio and a friend on July 13 off Hilton Head Island when they reeled in the ginormous shark.

The shark, had it been brought back to shore, may have smashed the state record for the heaviest hammerhead caught.

Michalove told ForTheWin that the shark put up a huge fight, after taking the bait.

"She ripped off 400 yards in about 60 seconds," Michalove told the news outlet. "I released from the anchor and spun the boat to chase. I knew she was going to be enormous, but I didn't know of the enormity until we got her a little closer and I could see the width."

The anglers finally managed to reel the beast in, collapsing from exhaustion.

"They were so exhausted they could barely stand," Michalove told ForTheWin. "Pete crashed on the cooler and laid there in exhaustion, and his friend was so tired that I barely convinced him to just hold the camera while I reached over and grabbed the shark's head for one quick photo."

Newsweek has reached out to Chip Michalove for a comment.

Measuring at nearly 14 foot and weighing over 1,000 pounds, Michalove knew the beast would smash the state record. The current record for the heaviest hammerhead was set in 1989 by a 588-pound shark. The world record for weight was set in 2006 by a 1,280-pound catch.

The longest hammerhead ever recorded was 14.7 feet long. The beast was caught in 2019 off Palm Beach in Florida.

Michalove told ForTheWin that sharks have given him a "good life," and "they're too important to our fishery" to catch.

"Fifteen years ago, I would've thrown a rope around her head and dragged her back to demolish the records....We've recaptured so many tigers, lemons, bulls, I owe them everything. I've gotten a few messages on how I should've dragged her back, but there's not even a question that we did the right thing," he said.

The species is also endangered. They are under threat from becoming entangled in fishing gear and caught as by-catch. They are also still hunted for their fins, and as trophy catches.

Several species of hammerhead shark swim in South Carolina waters, including the great hammerhead, the Carolina hammerhead and the scalloped hammerhead.

It is not clear what exact species of hammerhead was reeled in by the anglers, however great hammerhead sharks are the largest of them all. Great hammerhead sharks can grow up to 20 feet in length and weigh over 1,000 pounds, however this is rare.

Hammerhead
A stock photo shows a hammerhead shark. A 1,000 pound hammerhead was caught off South Carolina. Michael Geyer/Getty