14-Foot Hammerhead Caught from the Beach

Does paddling the bait out count this as kayak fishing?

Viktor Hluben leans on his heavy rod as he fights a massive hammerhead. The kayak in the background was likely used to paddle out the bait.

Viktor Hluben leans on his heavy rod as he fights a massive hammerhead. The kayak in the background was likely used to paddle out the bait. YouTube screen capture.

14-Foot Hammerhead Caught from the Beach
Does paddling the bait out count this as kayak fishing?
By Paul Lebowitz

The shark is so enormous, it dwarfs the anglers gathered around it on the beach. This hammerhead is 14 feet long and an estimated 700 pounds, an impossible catch from a kayak. Yet, a kayak was apparently involved.

Florida angler Viktor Hluben and friends are part of a group known as Landshark Fishing, one of many that targets sharks at night. These anglers commonly use a kayak to paddle their baits out past the surf.

Hluben fought the giant fish with heavy stand-up gear. The reel is a 14-0 Penn Senator, designed for taming the largest of big game. An hour in, Hluben’s crew finally tail-ropes the beast, gathers around and hauls it onto the beach. Cautiously, no doubt.

Hluben told Pete Thomas of GrindTV.com that the shark was caught from Florida’s Atlantic coast, but didn’t specify a location.

Although they released the big shark, Hluben and crew are taking considerable heat from critics as their video has picked up viral steam. On the video itself, a caption asserts, “We do not condone or support the killing of any shark species. We are a group of big-game anglers with unconventional methods and conservation at the heart of our practice.”

I’ll leave it to you to determine the ethics of this undoubted angling achievement. Our question: Is this kayak fishing? Where’s the line?

Hooking a fish from a boat and then fighting it from a ‘yak is a stunt. Most consider mothershipping to a spot and then catching, fighting and landing a fish from a ‘yak an authentic kayak catch, minus the style points accrued by ‘pure’ paddle-out and back anglers.

Tell us what you think in the comments.

Hluben's 14-foot hammerhead prior to release.

Hluben’s 14-foot hammerhead prior to release. YouTube screen capture.

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Comments

John Pawlak
March 27, 2014 3:12 am

The kayak is the perfect connection between shore and sea as you can easily launch & land it from anywhere. And as most big game species & sea life lives only just beyond the breakers it makes for the perfect storm. Yes, it counts as a kayak catch.

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