The trick in bare-handed shark wrestling is to stay back at the tail.
This is the sage advice from a 24-year-old surf fisherman in Nantucket who dazzled beachgoers on Sunday with his 45-minute wrangling of a 7-foot sand shark.
To shore. By hand.
Elliot Sudal, a Connecticut native who moved from Florida to Massachusetts four months ago, told the Boston Herald that he’s brought in a live shark hundreds of times before.
On Sunday, while surf fishing, he saw several blue fish floating in to shore with shark bites on them, so he tossed half of one out as bait at the breaking waves and, sure enough, a hungry sand shark emerged.
Sudal said the shark then hooked on one of four fishing lines he’d set up, and soon he found himself in an epic, crowd-attracting struggle to pull the shark out of water, using a self-taught technique, which includes staying away from the teeth.
“They’re really strong,” Sudal said of his catch. “They get a little adrenaline rush once they realize something crazy is happening. Then you grab them and they start freaking out. Sometimes you gotta jump on.”
Sudal, whose cousin has posted his shark-nabbing photos on Facebook, which started all the attention, said it makes a tough – if not scary – day at the beach.
“I was covered in sweat. You get an adrenaline rush, and then it wears off and they you get tired,” Sudal said Tuesday. “There was a crowd of people around yelling.”