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Man catches 6-foot, 135-pound bull shark (Caught in Red River near Simmesport miles upriver)
News Flash ^ | 9-23-04 | The Associated Press

Posted on 09/24/2004 6:34:52 AM PDT by Kennesaw

Man catches 6-foot, 135-pound bull shark

The Associated Press

SIMMESPORT, La. (AP) — Call it the catch of the day. Seafood merchant Richard Durrett was fishing Tuesday morning on the Red River when his catfish net dredged up something a little larger than the average catfish — a 6-foot, 135-pound bull shark.

"I've been fishing since I was 10 years old, and I've caught some strange fish, but nothing like this," the 35-year-old said Wednesday. "Things happen, but I wasn't ready for this."

Durrett was fishing near the Atchafalaya River for what he thought would be a normal day's haul. Instead, he took home a trophy.

"He had to come all the way up the Atchafalaya to get here," Durrett said. "It couldn't have been the hurricane, so I guess he was just on a journey to get here."

Finding a shark in the Red River is unusual, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries biologist Ricky Moses said Wednesday, but it has happened before. Moses, who specializes in inland and freshwater fish, said the LWF office in Opelousas confirmed that it has been asked to examine the shark. Bull sharks have been known to swim into fresh water areas, Moses said.

"They can't survive in that environment for a long time," Moses said, "but they can stay in fresh water for a little while."

Durrett said he has caught much smaller sharks in the past near the Morgan City area, but those were of the 30-pound variety.

"Sometimes, you'll catch stuff you don't expect. But this?" he said.

During early fall, when fresh water flows slow, saltwater wedges sometimes penetrate rivers and move saltwater species upriver, Moses said. The wedges don't come nearly as far as Simmesport, Moses said, but sometimes, a bull shark will just keep going.

There have been reports in the past of other saltwater species, like flounder and blue crab, being caught near Simmesport, Moses said. The size of the shark caught this week is impressive, Moses said.

Durrett is keeping the shark frozen at his business and has plans to gut and mount the rare catch.

"I have a 5-year-old and a 13-year-old about to be 14," he said. "It's the first time they ever saw something like this. It's going to be a good conversation piece, and it'll give people something to talk about other than the usual freshwater fish in here."


TOPICS: Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: shark

1 posted on 09/24/2004 6:34:52 AM PDT by Kennesaw
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To: Kennesaw

Any pictures?


2 posted on 09/24/2004 6:40:10 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Kennesaw

Must have been brackish water. We would see them in the Loxahatchee allot when I was a kid.


3 posted on 09/24/2004 6:41:14 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Kennesaw

Surprised he doesn't get a fine for saltwater game fishing without a license, or some stupid thing.

Dan
/c8


4 posted on 09/24/2004 6:43:11 AM PDT by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: Kennesaw

My biggest was a black tip out of the Broad River in so. Carolina. 4' 5" from nose to tail. Needed two gaffs to get him onto the boat. Meat still tasted OK although I've heard that too much bigger than that and the meat can get rubbery and gamey.


5 posted on 09/24/2004 6:44:48 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (Albanian: O Zot! Kam sakice ne koke!)
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To: Kennesaw

Global warming.......


6 posted on 09/24/2004 6:44:56 AM PDT by blackdog (Proudly wearing Free Republic pajamas, just to piss off Dan Rather.)
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
"He had to come all the way up the Atchafalaya to get here,"

Isn't the Atachfalaya the deepest river in the world? I think the Mississipi runs into it because it's so deep.

7 posted on 09/24/2004 6:46:14 AM PDT by bayourod (The parrot is dead. Honor your guarantee now Dan Rather.)
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To: Kennesaw

Pelosi Skinnydipping Ping


8 posted on 09/24/2004 6:48:02 AM PDT by Tamzee (Ted Koppel --- "....the media will need a stepstool to rise to the level of used car salesmen.")
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To: Kennesaw
It's happened before.

Case of the 1916 NJ maneater

Mike

9 posted on 09/24/2004 6:48:32 AM PDT by MichaelP
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To: Kennesaw

When I worked on the boats we often caught sharks in the Neuse and Potomac Rivers – both a sizable distance from the ocean.


10 posted on 09/24/2004 6:50:44 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
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To: RedBloodedAmerican

The Red River is NOT brackish water. Anywhere. its a couple hundred miles from the coast!


11 posted on 09/24/2004 6:50:58 AM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Hermann the Cherusker; RedBloodedAmerican

I'm about 500 yards from the Red River right now. It ain't brackish, it's just muddy.


12 posted on 09/24/2004 6:53:50 AM PDT by Skooz (Prove I'm NOT Queen of the Space Unicorns.........)
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To: Hermann the Cherusker

Oh. Thanks. Well, I have seen enormous gators in the shipping lanes while fishing saltwater near the Cape. So I guess these critters are bihydrophobes (new word) :o)


13 posted on 09/24/2004 6:59:26 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Kennesaw

Bulls, and, if I remember right, Tiger Sharks have been seen in the Mississippi as far up as St. Louis. Its not that unusual even.

And it was just a 6 footer, the gators would have eaten that as a snack.


14 posted on 09/24/2004 7:05:07 AM PDT by Conan the Librarian (The Best in Life is to crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and the Dewey Decimal System)
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To: RedBloodedAmerican

The Bull Shark has a high tolerance for fresh water. They retain the ability to move into rivers as adults.

I saw a big one, 7 or 8 feet long, while scuba diving down in Mexico back in January. You expect to see sharks in certain waters, but this is one of the species that makes you sit up & take notice.


15 posted on 09/24/2004 7:11:45 AM PDT by Tallguy (If the Kerry campaign implodes any further, they'll reach the point of "singularity" by election day)
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To: Kennesaw
Bull sharks are adaptable to fresh water. They have been caught as far up the Mississippi as St. Louis, and have been caught on the Amazon hundreds of miles inland.

Bull Shark
Bull shark photo © Chris Fallows

Carcharhinus leucas

The bull shark belongs to the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Chondrichthyes, Order Carcharhiniformes, Suborder Scyliorhinoidei, Family Carcharhinidae, Genus Carcharhinus and Species leucas. The bull shark is also known as the cub shark, Ganges shark, Nicaragua shark, river shark, shovelnose shark, slipway grey shark, freshwater whaler, estuary whaler, Swan River whaler, square-nose shark, Van Rooyen's shark and Zambezi shark.

The bull shark is located in both tropical and subtropical oceans as well as seas along the coastlines. The bull shark can also be found in fresh water rivers and lakes, including Lake Nicaragua in Nicaragua and the Zambezi River in Africa. It is a frequent dweller of shallow waters. The bull shark has been found up to 1,750 miles up the Mississippi River in St. Louis and 2,500 miles up the Amazon River. It is the only shark that has been found in both fresh and salt waters.

Bull shark The bull shark can be distinguished from other sharks because it has a long, stout body and short, blunt snout. Bull sharks also have a second dorsal fin that is one third the height of the first. The bull shark has a gray to brownish-gray top or dorsal side and a paler white underside or ventral side. Young bull sharks usually have dark edges on their fins.

The bull shark is the third most aggressive shark in the world, following only the tiger and great white sharks in number of shark attacks each year. Leading shark researchers believe that it is very likely the bull shark is responsible for the 1916 New Jersey attacks attributed to the Great White shark and the inspiration for the movie Jaws.

The bull shark is a solitary hunter. Their diet usually consists of fish, rays, birds, turtles and small sharks (especially the sandcar shark) and dolphins. Almost everything has been found in the stomach of bull sharks, from bicycle tires to human remains.

Adult males are about typically 7 feet long and weigh up to 200 pounds while adult females are typically 11.5 feet long and weigh up to 500 pounds.

Bull sharks mature sexually between the ages of 8 to 10. Breeding usually occurs during the warmer summer months. The gestation period is around 1 year and birth usually occurs in brackish waters, the area where freshwater rivers and saltwater oceans meet. Female bull sharks are viviparous, meaning they give birth to live young. A female bull shark can give birth to a litter of up to 13 baby sharks, called pups. The pups are born live and are typically 28 inches long.

Drawing of a bullshark

The population of the bull shark is drastically declining because of overfishing of the shark for commercial use. It is eaten in the coastal areas. Bull shark skin is also used to make leather from.

16 posted on 09/24/2004 7:19:53 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help fund terrorism.)
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To: Tallguy

I wouldn't want to be anywhere near a Bull Shark while scuba diving!


17 posted on 09/24/2004 7:22:44 AM PDT by Pyro7480 (Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, sancta Dei Genitrix.... sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper...)
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To: Pyro7480

Not really. Scuba divers aren't on their menu. The joke among sharks is that the "hard bits" on a divers back make you fart.

The only time a diver is really vulnerable is while spearfishing (which I don't do), in really low viz (like a surf line), or (maybe) on the surface where a curious shark might take a nibble. The Bull Shark that I saw back in January disappeared almost as soon as he/she appeared.


18 posted on 09/24/2004 7:42:30 AM PDT by Tallguy (If the Kerry campaign implodes any further, they'll reach the point of "singularity" by election day)
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To: Kennesaw
I was just watching fox news and there is a great white shark being tracked in the same river that inspired the story of Jaws. What were the chances? I will never forget back in 2001 the two fatal attacks occurring within 24 hours. One in Va. Beach and Kitty Hawk.
19 posted on 09/24/2004 8:06:02 PM PDT by TBall (Sharks and Hurricanes, Oh my!)
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To: Kennesaw
Man catches 6-foot, 135-pound bull shark

Better that than have the 6-foot, 135-pound shark catch the man. I've had it with this ethical treatment of animals. I say catch the damned things, and eat them.


20 posted on 09/24/2004 8:24:03 PM PDT by Nick Danger (www.swiftvets.com www.wintersoldier.com www.kerrylied.com)
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To: bayourod
Isn't the Atachfalaya the deepest river in the world? I think the Mississipi runs into it because it's so deep.

The Atchafalaya is quite deep for an inland river, the channel is up to 90' in spots. When in flood, the Mississippi tends toward changing course into the Atchafalaya because it is a shorter (and, thus, steeper) route to the Gulf (and sea level).

But the river you are thinking of is probably the Saguenay, in Quebec. It flows into the St. Lawrence from the north, above Quebec. At this point, the St. Lawrence is a wide estuary and several hundred feet deep. But the Saguenay is a staggering 900' feet deep where it enters the St. Lawrence.

Actually, the Saguenay was gouged out by a glacier and is more accurately described as a fiord.

21 posted on 09/24/2004 8:29:25 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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