Angler catches 12-foot shark at Topsail Beach, sparks online debate

Friday, September 22, 2017
Team reels in large shark on Topsail Island
Team reels in large shark on Topsail Island
Credit: Get Bent LBSF/Facebook

TOPSAIL ISLAND -- An angler recently caught a Tiger shark that was more than 12 feet long along at Topsail Beach and it's creating a lot of buzz online.

The Carolina Sportsman reports David Schmidt of Holly Ridge and the Get Bent land-based shark-fishing team celebrate big sharks from late August through October, because that's when they're showing up off the beach of Topsail Island.

On September 14, Schmidt hooked a beast - a 12-foot tiger shark estimated to weigh between 700 and 750 pounds.

Around 7:30, Schmidt and his teammates set up shop at their usual spot on the beach.

Schmidt said he then hopped in his kayak to deliver a 10-pound chunk of tarpon about 500 yards out. After a good soak with the bait held in place by a 12-ounce spider weight, Schmidt strapped into his fighting harness to fight back.

"As soon as it hit, I knew it was a good fish because it wasn't like a slow roll or anything," Schmidt told Carolina Sportsman. "That thing ate the bait and it was taking off quick."

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The group posted the catch to their Facebook account and some users took to the comment section to express their disgust.

"How bout you just dont?! Leave em alone and quit baiting them to shore," one viewer wrote.

Get Bent LBSF said they do not bait the fish since they're near the shore searching for food. Schmidt told Carolina Sportsman that they even released the shark back into the ocean.

"It took about five to 10 minutes of me walking her down the beach a little way," he said. "I was getting the oxygen flowing over her gills, and then she kicked off, went into the water, and we didn't see her again."