Willy Dean, a commercial fisherman, netted this 8-foot bull shark that weighed more than 300 hundred pounds last month. Bull sharks, known for their aggressive nature, rank right up there with Great Whites as the deadliest sharks in the world.
Oddly enough, Dean caught the big shark in Cornfield Bay of the Potomac River in Maryland. Bull sharks are known for swimming up freshwater rivers, but they are extremely rare in the Potomac. Experts say there hasn’t been a bull shark sighted in that area since in about 40 years.
It took Dean almost two hours to wrestle the fish out of his net. From there he took it to Buzz’s Marina where these photos were taken by Christy Henderson. Here Ray Mercure gets a close look at the big bull.
And the story gets even stranger from here. Just one day after Dean caught this shark, another commercial fisherman caught an even bigger bull shark in the same area.
Bull sharks regularly prowl the Chesapeake Bay and feed on rays and crabs. The sharks could have made their way up the Potomac in search of more food.
Both sharks were killed by the fishermen, who were worried that if they let the sharks back, they could attack swimmers or kayakers. That’s Willy Dean on the right.
Shark attacks in the Mid-Atlantic are rare, but they do happen. The most famous are the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916 in which four people were killed and one person was injured in a matter of two weeks. Experts suspect the culprit species was bull sharks.
These attacks inspired the novel JAWS.
There several cases where bull sharks have been found much farther inland than Cornfield Bay. One was found in the Mississippi River near Illinois and another was found in the Ohio River as far up as Indiana.
In South America, bull sharks swim thousands of miles up the Amazon River.
They have also been spotted jumping up rapids like salmon to reach freshwater Lake Nicaragua.
Because bull sharks are highly aggressive and typically live near shore and highly populated tropical waters, many experts consider them to be the most dangerous shark in the world.
They can grow up to 11.5 feet long and weigh more than 500 pounds.
Dean kept his shark (bull sharks are not endangered or protected) and planned to cut it up into steaks.
“We’re gonna steak him up and try him. Some people say shark is good to eat. We’ll see,” Dean told the Washington Post.
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