Conn. fishermen reel in catch of a lifetime

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July 2, 2012, 12:08 pm
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(NECN/WVIT: Liz Dahlem) - Six fishermen from Niantic, Conn. made a catch they'll never forget - when they reeled a 13-foot shark in off the coast of Long Island. 

"It was crazy, never seen anything like it." 

Paul Motta and his five buddies watched the sun come up from Rockaway Chater, after a three-and-a-half-hour boat ride anchored about 30 miles off the coast of Montauk. 

After the hooked the line and bait went in - they never knew they'd get a catch of a lifetime.   

"Unexpectedly that magic sound, click, click, click."  

His friend, Justin, hooked the thresher shark but the fight was far from over.
 
"We probably stood with the rod 20, 30 minutes each until we got really fatigued. Three and a half, four hours it seemed like this shark never wanted to come up," Motta said.  

The shark was so big the guys had to get creative to get it into the back of the boat. 

They finally hooked two ropes up top and each one grabbed it to heave-ho the shark into the back of the boat.  

"The tail alone was seven feet long, the actual, from the snout to where we cut the tail was six feet, so that's obviously 13 feet long ." 

Captain John Haney headed back to Niantic and took the shark right to J&B tackle for an official weigh-in. It was 497 pounds.  

Paul says it's a day the fishing team will never forget.   

"We're just regular fisherman putting your time in and getting lucky and, I don't know, one day you're a fisherman and today, I don't know, almost feel like a celebrity."   

The guys split it up and each brought about 40 pounds of meat home for their families to enjoy.  

"My wife was so excited for me, she came down from New Britain and we grilled some up and had an awesome dinner last night. Grilled thresher was delicious."  

It's sure to be on the dinner menu a few times this summer.   

Motta said he thinks they broke a new record for longest and heaviest thresher shark caught in the area.   

The current state record holder is Mark Hiller, who caught a 467-pound thresher shark off Montauk Point in 2006. 

J&b tackle get official word next week. 

Tags: fishing, fish, fishermen, shark, Conn., niantic, Conn. fishermen, Conn. coast, Liz Dahlem, Paul Motta
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