|HAMMERED: Tom Rowland estimated this hammerhead to weigh 1,000 pounds.|
While filming an episode of "the Salt Water Experience" off Florida's Long Key last year, hosts Rich Tudor and Tom Rowland could only watch as a hammerhead shark shredded the tarpon on the end of their line. So when the two returned to the spot in April to film another episode, they had hammerhead hunting in mind. Rigging with 130-pound braid and 19-pound wire, Tudor used standup gear and a filleted barracuda to catch the first shark, a 400-pounder. But near the end of Tudor's fight, Rowland made it a double(hammer)header when he set the hook on a 15-foot-long fish, estimated at 1,000 pounds. Rowland fought his shark for more than an hour, during which they spotted two more huge hammerheads-one of which approached the boat and snagged the 'cuda carcass hanging off the stern. Tudor said the shark frenzy left him a little paranoid...after all, he has swum in these waters more than once. Still, he and Rowland didn't mind sending the photographer overboard for some underwater shots. "It took a bit of convincing," Tudor said. "But that's why we pay him the big bucks."