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Fisherman hooks 2,500-lb. Great White in Hilton Head, strokes its nose

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PHOTO: Chip Michalove and Outcast Sport Fishing

PHOTO: Chip Michalove and Outcast Sport Fishing

HILTON HEAD, S.C. – Chip Michalove is captain at a sport fishing charter in South Carolina, and he said yesterday he hooked a 2,500-lb. Great White Shark.

It’s not the first encounter he has had with a Great White, either.

Michalove, the captain at Outdoor Sport Fishing, said that he has spent 12 years trying to “figure out the migration, food source and patterns of this amazing animal.”

The charter was out fishing, with a person from Tennessee aboard, catching some redfish when they hooked the shark.

“We weren’t exactly sure how big she was, initially, but after a 2-minute blistering run, she jumped completely out of the water, I wish I had a shot of that,” Michalove wrote on Facebook.

While Michalove wrote that the shark’s weight was 2,500-lbs, it is unclear how they arrived at that amount. A Great White can easily reach 5,000 lbs.

He said that after a four-hour, insane battle they were able to bring her boatside.  They applied an acoustic tag near the dorsal and took a DNA sample from a pectoral fin.

Video below from another Great White hooked in January

“She swam off healthy and looking forward to finding out where our South Carolina great whites go,” Michalove said.

It isn’t the first Great White hook of the winter, either. He said this is the fifth one they hooked, and third they landed.

“Last January I had my first great white experience, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that we’re getting to the point where we see one almost every trip out,” Michalove said.

Last year multiple Great Whites were spotted in the Outer Banks area, along the North Carolina coast. Katharine, Mary Lee and Genie all visited last year. The sharks have been tracked thanks to Ocearch,  an organization whose mission is to track the movement and study the behavior and health of sharks in the deep blue sea.

“It took me nearly 12 years to try and figure out the migration, food source and patterns of this amazing animal. Then the trial and error process began on how to stop, and land these fish,” Michalove said.

“Lots of errors, lots of heartbreaking mistakes along the way were made….this is, unequivocally, the most intelligent fish I’ve ever seen. As an old great white fisherman once told me, “you’re going to hook less than half of the whites you see, they’re that smart,’” Michalove continued.

“He was right, and the more we study, the more we learn. Nothing illegal was done, and the shark is now going to give us lots of data…so no hate mail. Life is good!”

Michalove also captured all of the tiger sharks in the Atlantic that are seen on the Ocearch shark tracker. He named the first one Miss Michalove, after his mom.

You can track the path of Great White sharks at this link: http://www.ocearch.org/#SharkTracker