Massive Thresher Shark Is 400+ Pounds Bigger Than Previous N.C. State Record

Thresher shark swimming in ocean underwater

iStockphoto / FtLaudGirl

There is a new Thresher Shark fishing record in the Tar Heel State. This new record completely demolished the previous state fishing record by so much it’s hard to fathom how the previous record stood for so long.

The previous state fishing record for the common thresher shark was a 185-pounder caught out of the famous Oregon Inlet. This new record? It tipped the scales at 589 pounds and 1 ounce, or 404 pounds more than the previous record.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries announced the new saltwater fishing record for Thresher Shark (Alopias vulpinus) in a press release on February 9th. It was landed “near the Knuckle Buoy off Oak Island on Jan. 10, 2023.” Oak Island sits between Holden Beach and Bald Head Island, and just 40 miles away from North Myrtle Beach.

record 589 pound Thresher Shark

Steven Viltoft / N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries

Steven Viltoft of Southport is the proud new owner of this North Carolina state fishing record after reeling in the 589-pound thresher shark.

record 589 pound Thresher Shark

Steven Viltoft / N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries

He was out fishing for tuna and was using mullet as bait rigged on “130 pound line on an 80W Shimano Tiagra reel paired with a Bazen Custom Rod.” According to the press release, it took him two hours to reel in the record-setting shark.

This gargantuan thresher shark measured a whopping 90 inches from the fork in the tail to the tip of its nose. And it measured 164.75 inches from the tip of its nose to the top of its tail (full length), or nearly 14 feet long.

Oak Island Fishing Charters has additional photos of this record-setting Thresher shark on Facebook.

As a point of comparison, the IGFA fishing world record for Thresher Shark is 767 pounds and 3 ounces. That shark was caught by angler D.L. Hannah on February 26, 1983. It was landed in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

The thresher shark is a fascinating species that’s famous for its ‘tail whip’ or ‘tail slap’. It possesses an extrmely long tail that is capable of stunning prey under water with a quick ‘slap’ or ‘whip’.

The thresher shark is a popular species of gamefish across the world. Mexico’s Baja Peninsula is probably the world’s most popular spot to fish for them but they are regularly caught throughout the United States and South Africa.

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