Swedish angler Joel Abrahamsson has broken the record for heaviest catch from a kayak by reeling in a Greenland shark that weighed an estimated 1,247 pounds and was believed to be around 200 years old.
Abrahamsson was fishing off Andörja Island, Norway, in 1,600 feet of water when he hooked into the behemoth that would later measure 13.2 feet in length and carry a girth of 6.6 feet. Abrahamsson caught the shark as party of a study on the species conducted by Havfiskeinstitut Norge (means something in Swedish), members of which witnessed the catch from a separate boat.
It took Abrahamsson more than 90 minutes to reel the leviathan to his shallow boat. He detailed his ordeal to Kayak Fish Magazine. “The fish is not a spectacular fighter, but it is a fish that constantly tugs its head down and keeps slowly pulling, making it impossible to ever stop winding,” Abrahamsson said. “So I put the reel in low gear and just grind the fish upwards.”
Abrahamsson added, “The fight was just [grueling] and extremely heavy. A few times it got a bit gnarly. I was scared of going over.”
The previous unofficial record for heaviest catch was held by a 400-pound salmon shark caught and released in Alaska in 2008.
Abrahamsson’s shark was also released.
Abrahamsson catch was made all the more special by the fact that “…only about 10 to 15 Greenland sharks being caught every year in all of Scandinavia, so it is a rare species.”