Man photographed wrestling shark ashore - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Man photographed wrestling shark ashore

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Elliot Sudal is seen in this image wrestling a 7-foot-long shark to shore. (Elliot Sudal) Elliot Sudal is seen in this image wrestling a 7-foot-long shark to shore. (Elliot Sudal)

Courtesy ABC News

By BEN WALDRON
July 16, 2013

Nantucket in July, the perfect place to wile away the long summer days taking in some sun, flying a kite, building a sand castle or wrestling a shark.

Elliot Sudal, 24, who recently moved to Nantucket, Mass., from Florida to take a job at a mooring company, was captured in an incredible image wrestling a seven-foot shark onto shore on Sunday. He said it is his favorite hobby.

"First of all, I'm obsessed with fishing," Sudal told ABC News. "I've caught over 100 sharks in the last eight months. It's my favorite thing to do."

The Nantucket Police Marine Department confirmed to ABC News that Sudol really did wrestle the shark ashore.

Sudal said he was out fishing for bluefish when he sensed there were sharks lurking nearby.

"It just kind of seemed sharky," he said. "There was something coming by and chomping them [the bluefish] in half. I thought, 'It's got to be a shark.'"

Sudal then took a half-eaten bluefish he had reeled in earlier, put it on his fishing line, and cast it out. Within two minutes, he had shark on the other end of the line.

Sudal said he grappled with the shark on the fishing rod for about 45 minutes before it tired. He then handed the rod to his cousin and charged into the waves.

"The crazy part is you have to run into the water and grab it by the tail and put it on shore," said Sudal.

He said about 20 spectators had gathered on shore to witness him drag the shark to shore.

"Everyone was freaking out, I got a slow clap when I was walking away," he said.

"I've been fishing for everything since I was a kid," said Sudal. "I got into this shark thing about two years ago. It's just like this epic battle between you and this sea beast. You cant go back to a little fish after that. Everything else is bait."

Sudal said the shark was out of the water for about a minute.

"I always let the sharks go," he said. "It's important to release these things. I'm very conservation-minded when it comes to taking care of them."

It's not the first time beachgoers have gotten up close and personal with the finned predators. Last month a video emerged of a teen hitching a ride on a 30-foot whale shark, and early in June a group of fishermen caught a record-breaking 1,300 pound shark off the coast of California.

There have been an increase in the number of great white shark sightings along the coast of cape cod, though officials are not planning on closing any beaches because of them.

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