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Paramedic reels in massive hammerhead shark

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 7:32 AM CDT
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NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. (WSOC) – Blake Cochran loves being a paramedic in Caldwell County, but his passion is fishing along the North Carolina coast.

Now, he has a fisherman’s tale he will likely tell for the rest of his life – the time he reeled in a 13-foot hammerhead shark from North Topsail Beach.

“I knew it was something big,” Cochran said. “The biggest shark I’ve caught up to this point was like four feet, and this one when it pulled in – it was insane.”

Cochran said he and some friends fish once a month along the state’s coast, where they try to catch sharks or red drums. They take a kayak about 400 yards offshore.

“It’s almost like catfishing from the beach,” Cochran said. “It’s kind of like what it is. You sit and wait and you take your bait out. And all of a sudden, that reel started screaming. It was like being hooked to a car.”

Cochran said he knew it was a hammerhead when he saw the dorsal fin.

He posed for a quick photo and then the group worked quickly to get the big fish back into the water.

Blake Cochran loves being a paramedic in Caldwell County, but his passion is fishing along the...
Blake Cochran loves being a paramedic in Caldwell County, but his passion is fishing along the North Carolina coast.

“He was pretty heavy,” Cochran explained. “It takes two to three people. You wade out to your neck and revive them and then let them go.”

Cochran isn’t worried about getting in the ocean, despite folks voicing concerns after his last catch.

“There are sharks in the water,” Cochran said. “It’s the ocean. It’s their home. They’re not going to bother you unless you bother them.”

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