Scottsdale Man Lands 575-Pound Salmon Shark in Alaska

It's doubtful anyone in Arizona will match Joe Pinto's fish tale this summer: The Scottsdale resident reeled in a quarter-ton of finned fury on Monday while fishing in Alaska's Cook Inlet.

Yeah, that's way cooler than snagging sunfish in Chaparral Lake.

Pinto and others on board a charter boat were trying to catch halibut when they noticed a large salmon shark trying to do the same thing.

According to Alaska's Channel 2 (KTUU-TV):

That's when Henderson rigged up a line of 300-pound airline cable with cod fillet as bait and handed the pole to pinto. The shark took the bait and 45 minutes later Pinto had the monster in the boat.

The fish weighed 575 pounds and was 8 feet, 7 inches tall. A commenter on the Channel 2 article who says he's the captain of the boat states that the meat is delicious, "similar to ling cod."

This catch was large even by Alaska standards. An article in Fish Alaska magazine says the salmon shark averages 200 to 400 pounds, while another article claims some reports put the max weight at up to 1,000 pounds. One charter outfit calls the experience of landing a salmon shark a "brute force battle."

What are you doing this summer?

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.