Using their bare hands, Cody Harlan, Jonathan Cook and Robert Trutt of Florida hauled in a 277-pound bull shark Thursday morning.
“It was stupid, but a good memory,” Cook said as he recounted details of how they got the shark to the beach. “Leave it to three rednecks.”
Harlan and Trutt of Fort Walton Beach and Cook of Mary Esther hit Okaloosa Island about 7 a.m. to fish for pompano, but never wet a line.
After they got to the beach “we saw what looked like a piece of driftwood in the water,” Trutt said.
But it was moving in the waves and the men thought it could be a dolphin. However, it eventually bellied-up.
At that point they knew it was a shark, but thought it was dead.
“I wanted it for its teeth,” Harlan said.
Harlan waded out about chest-deep and grabbed the shark’s tail. It never really made a move, and Harlan started pulling it back to shore. When he got the shark back about knee-deep in the water, Trutt and Cook helped drag it up on the beach.
Once they got the shark on land it started to move.
Not knowing if it was legal to take the shark, they called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
“We were told anything over 54 inches is fair game,” Cook said. “I got my Nike bat out of the truck and knocked her out.”