Punta Gorda fisherman reeled in 12-foot hammerhead shark

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One Punta Gorda fisherman reeled in the surprise of his life last Saturday night, a hammerhead shark.

The whole thing captured on video.

“No fish has taken that much line at that fast of speed,” said fisherman Barry Baroudi.

It was in that moment where Baroudi knew he caught something huge.

“I just felt the weight. I’m harnessing this big rid and I couldn’t get my weight down to stop it,” Baroudi said.

For about an hour on Boca Grande, he fought the hammerhead shark until he called for back up.

Help came in all sizes, including his friend’s daughter Eleacea Karuzis.

“I was helping Barry, I was helping him reel in the fish,” Karuzis said.

That’s when Baroudi and the group of 40 saw the shark get reeled in.

“It’s amazing to be around a creature so big,” Baroudi said.

Karuzis said the sharks fin was bigger than her.

But, the celebration was short because Baroudi had to release the 12-foot hammerhead shark.

“We just want to respect the fish and have plenty of sharks for future to come, and enjoy the sport,” Baroudi said.

Starting July 1, a new rule will be in effect requiring anglers to immediately release a hammerhead shark once it’s caught. The rule will also prohibit the use of chum to catch sharks.

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