From the Archives: Shark Fever

Craving a thrashing tale? Dive into OL’s online archives with a roundup of our best shark stories

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To read all these shark tales and many more, check out a free trial of our digital archives at c2c.outdoorlife.com.

June 13, 1964
A Record Breaking Feat
The angler's "heavy rod bent in a tight arc as the shark surged away from the pier with a huge hook embedded in its jaw. A multistrand, wire leader and 130-pound-test line connected the shark with the man, who was soon to set a world record."

On that June afternoon in 1964, South Carolina angler Walter Maxwell hooked into a 1,780-pound predator and fought for five hours straight until he landed the huge fish. We're not sure what's more amazing: that Maxwell caught the shark from a pier, or that the shark still holds the top spot after 50-plus years. You can find the full story behind the catch in our April 1984 issue, for free, right here.

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January 1938
Although many anglers remained "obsessed with an undisguised hatred of sharks," the article "The Shark As a Game Fish" reported that many attitudes toward sharks were shifting from animosity to curiosity.

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July 1976
Fishermen used to cut off if they hooked into a shark, but targeting them became the new norm. Even "housewives are driving to Florida to catch them," wrote author Pete Miller of the craze in "The Widening of Jaws."

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February 1998
If you fish saltwater often enough, you're bound to encounter a shark (or several) sooner rather than later. In "Shark Attacks," OL caught up with anglers who'd survived some seriously harrowing scrapes.