This summer, sharks plagued the shallow waters of North Carolina and a severed dolphin carcass washed up on the shore of a New Jersey beach. Fishermen encountered more than they bargained for on their trips across the sea, with catches ranging from ancient and rare crustaceans to a marlin that weighed as much as six NFL players.
As the season comes to a close, we honor those who reeled in impressive specimens and salute the fish who sacrificed their lives to smash records and reach peak internet fish stardom.
Here are eight of the summer’s craziest catches.
18-Foot Shark With a 6-Foot Hammerhead in its Mouth
— Daily Mail Australia (@DailyMailAU) August 12, 2015
Sharks have attacked 11 people off the coast of North and South Carolina in 2015 alone. Because domestic shark stats aren’t terrifying enough, you should know that an Australian fisherman was able to hook a 18-foot monstrous tiger shark while sailing on the Nine Mile Coast. To make matters worse, the bloated shark was reeled in immediately after the man witnessed the shark swallow a six-foot hammerhead right in front of him. The fisherman tells The Northern Star, “I’ve dived with sharks bigger than that, it’s only a little one.”
800-Pound Tiger Shark
— Ray Daudani NBC12 (@RayDaudaniNBC12) August 5, 2015
This past August, Swedish fisherman Joe Morris reeled in an 800-pound tiger shark while fishing on the coast of Folly Beach, South Carolina. He tells Fox News that the catch was “really no big deal,” given that he has caught three sharks over 1,000-pounds in the past. This is the stuff nightmares are made of.
1,058-Pound Marlin Hooked By a 16-Year-Old
Sixteen-year-old Kai Rizzuto left with more than a tan on his annual trip to visit his grandfather in Kona, Hawaii. Rizzuto hooked an impressive 1,058-pound marlin after a 30-minute fight with the gigantic fish. The marlin thrashed about as the young fisherman attempted to reel in the beast before it ultimately passed away trying to free itself. The fish was not put to waste; the Rizzuto family used the marlin for meat and gave extras away to friends. (Photo: Ihu Nui Sportfishing)
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) June 2, 2015
While on a fishing trip with friends on the Norwegian coast, Swedish fisherman Erik Axner discovered an enormous 7-foot, 222-pound halibut. The fish was so large that Axner spent over an hour trying to reel it in before jumping in the water to take photos with his incredible catch. Although the fisherman ultimately decided to release the fish, the weight of the halibut alone could have supplied the world with 250 McDonald’s Fillet-O-Fish.
— Reddit Pics (@redditpicsbot) June 26, 2015
A fisherman hooked a very rare find in the waters of New Jersey. The pacu, a terrifying species native to South Africa, is notorious for its huge set of human-like teeth. It turns out a careless pet owner threw the fish into the Jersey lake, which happens to be a popular spot to abandon neglected fish. Claims that pacus eat human testicles are completely false, so feel free to go swimming in the body of water if you find yourself in the beautiful Armpit State.
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) July 7, 2015
This rare, split-colored lobster is a one-in-50-million find. One lucky fisherman was able to catch the elusive crustacean this summer off the coast of Maine. The lobster featured an even more unusual coloring pattern than the traditional split lobster, catching the attention of local scientists. Instead of the typical symmetrical color scheme, this lobster has a unique solid brown body with a split-colored claw and tail. Additionally, the lobster is a female, making the catch ever more rare. (Typically, bi-colored lobsters are hermaphrodites.)
— Waiopai Charters (@WaiopaiKona) July 29, 2015
What began as a morning fishing trip in search of tuna for a friend’s luau turned into a head-on encounter with a marlin that weighs almost as much as six NFL players. Fisherman Guy Kitaoka dubbed the half-ton marlin the “catch of a lifetime.” He had previously come in contact with a few 1,000-pound marlins, but was unable to successfully reel them in. The 1,368-pound catch was so big that Guy’s fishing boat could not fit the fish; he had to call for back-up, and used the help of a charter to bring the fish back to shore where he and his friends and family turned the colossal creature into marlin sausage.
After obtaining an abnormally large lobster, the people at Jordan Lobster Farm decided to spare the life of the extraordinary crustacean. The lobster weighed in at around 23-pounds, leading the fisherman who caught the lobster to believe the catch is around 95-years-old. The restaurant donated the lobster to their local aquarium where patrons can continue to visit the large specimen as he enjoys the remainder of his long and happy life. (Photo: CBS2)