This past Saturday, Frampton Ferguson and his crew won the Edisto Shark Tournament out of Edisto Island with a massive, 482-pound tiger shark. Little did they know, a shark almost three times the size of their winner was headed to the dock – just not in time for the tournament’s deadline.
Cal Young, captain of the Cold Beer, and his crew of Johnny Sanders, Madison Utsey, and Patrick Zemp finally managed to get to the docks at Edisto Watersports and Tackle and the Thirsty Fish with a 14-foot tiger shark that weighed at least 1,130 pounds – and maybe a lot more.
Young and his crew fought the fish for nearly 2 hours, some 20 miles out of Edisto Island, over a livebottom ledge. With two hours to make it to the dock for the 5:30 p.m. weigh-in, they tried to lift the shark over the gunwales but were afraid it would swamp the 25-foot Sea Pro center console and decided they had no choice except to drag it behind the boat.
“It was slow going, and we tried several times to get her onboard, but it just wasn’t going to happen,” Young said. “We could only make about 4 knots, and that was going to be too late.”
Young and crew finally made it to the docks at 9 p.m., and tournament officials hung the huge fish from scales, but it was so long that its nose was still touching the dock with the scales registering 1,130 pounds. When the weighmasters tried to hang the fish off the dock, the rising, full-moon tide prevented it from clearing the water.
After the fish was taken down and processed, Young made an interesting discovery about the fish.
“We found a whole 100-pound loggerhead turtle inside the fish’s stomach,” he said.
Young, who guides out of Edisto Watersports, said the crew first saw the shark “come up to the surface behind our chum slick.
“We got her to eat one bait, but she popped the leader, but we were fortunate to get her to eat another bait about 1:30 in the afternoon.”
Had the shark weighed the full 1,300 pounds that several people estimated it, it would still have been short of the state and world record by almost the weight of Ferguson’s winning shark.
On June 14, 1964, Walter Maxwell landed a 1,780-pound tiger shark off the Cherry Grove Fishing Pier in Myrtle Beach. That fish stands as the state record and all-tackle world record.