SA fisherman catches giant tiger shark

Ryan Springs wins 7-hour battle with shark off Port Aransas

By Paul Venema - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Standing in the driveway of his North Side home, Ryan Springs was showing off the giant jaw of a tiger shark he caught while fishing about 5 miles from Port Aransas in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday night.

Springs said the shark, which was 12 feet 7 inches long and weighed 809 pounds, hit his line just after 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.

"It was like playing tug-of-war with a giant," Springs said.

He said he knew it was a big fish but had no idea how big.

"When we finally saw him after five hours, we saw it was a tiger shark," he said.

It would be another two hours before they were able to tie the shark to the side of their boat.

"He's pulling us and the water is just slapping against the back of boat," Springs said. "It was like a scene from the movie 'Jaws.'"

With a smile, Springs chuckled, "That's always been my favorite movie."

He said securing the giant fish marked the end of an epic battle.

"It's hard to explain this thing about a fisherman fighting a fish," Springs said. "You're probably just talking to yourself but you feel like you're talking to the fish and saying things you probably can't say on TV."

Springs said he prides himself in being an ecology-conscious sport fisherman.

"I'm not trying to hurt the fish or kill him or just get rid of him," he said. "It's a sport."

He said he gave the shark meat to a coastal homeless shelter and to friends and family.

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