Skip to comments.Man catches 6-foot, 135-pound bull shark (Caught in Red River near Simmesport miles upriver)
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."
Must have been brackish water. We would see them in the Loxahatchee allot when I was a kid.
Surprised he doesn't get a fine for saltwater game fishing without a license, or some stupid thing.
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.
Isn't the Atachfalaya the deepest river in the world? I think the Mississipi runs into it because it's so deep.
Pelosi Skinnydipping Ping
When I worked on the boats we often caught sharks in the Neuse and Potomac Rivers both a sizable distance from the ocean.
The Red River is NOT brackish water. Anywhere. its a couple hundred miles from the coast!
I'm about 500 yards from the Red River right now. It ain't brackish, it's just muddy.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I wouldn't want to be anywhere near a Bull Shark while scuba diving!
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.
|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.