By David Spunt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Five men from Philadelphia are still reliving the moment when they caught one of the largest sharks ever off the New Jersey coast.
The men caught an 820-pound Mako over the weekend, 67 miles off Cape May.
“It was a rough one. It was about an hour and ten minutes. It just kept peeling line off,” Gary Blakla told Eyewitness News.
Blakla joined Captain Rob Kurdian, Fred Dirsh Sr., Fred Dirsh Jr., and Paul Tsoukalas for the trip.
After fighting the shark for more than an hour, the shark swam closer to the boat. Fred Dirsh Sr. took over at that point.
“I used my twelve gauge shotgun,” he said.
The five men gave it everything they had to pull the shark onto the boat. The crew told Eyewitness News they didn’t realize just how big the shark was until it was on the deck.
“I had no clue that it was at least an 820-pound Mako shark. Not even close,” Paul Tsoukalas said.
Captain Rob Kurian admits had the catch been in a few weeks during a popular shark tournament, he could have won $250,000. He says money doesn’t compare to the to the 820-pound experience with this best friends.
“This to me personally is more,” Kurian said.
Records show the largest Mako caught off New Jersey was an 856-pound shark in 1994.