OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Talk about the catch of the day.
A New Jersey man recently managed to reel in a 7-foot shark just off the coast of Cape May County — and it wasn’t his first one.
Reporter Natasha Brown of CBS 2 sister station KYW in Philadelphia learned Friday how this intrepid fisherman got hooked on shark fishing.
“I’m just a guy who likes to fish,” Tony Cutugno said.
Shark sightings are usually enough to send beach-goers scurrying. But not this guy. Equipped with only his kayak, he goes looking for them.
“I was about 200 yards off the pier,” Cutugno said.
And boy, did he find one on Wednesday evening around the 58th Street pier in Ocean City.
“He was a big dusky shark. I mean, they’re all up and down here. You know they’re always there. The sharks don’t bite people who actually couldn’t swim. But I like to go out and watch the sun set and see if I can catch fish,” Cutugno said.
The captured dusky shark was a frightening sight for many, but just another day’s fishing for “Shark Tony,” as he’s known in these parts. He said he catches the sharks and then releases them back into the ocean every time.
“I’ve caught them like that before. I catch them like that quite a bit. Like right around this time, they’re all up and down here. Just like to pull them up, get a picture and let them go,” Cutugno said.
Mark Miedama noticed Tony struggling to get his latest shark to shore.
“I helped him pull it up, and it was pretty cool, and I just took a picture with my camera,” Miedama said. “It showed a little bit of fight when it first got in, but then it realized it had no chance on the beach, so … then we just set it free after we cut the line.”
Dusky sharks are not man-eaters, which brought many comfort.
“I know that they’re out there all the time, and they’re part of nature, but it’s not something that we’re part of their appetite, you know. We’re not on their menu I guess you could say,” Steve Reisen said.
If nothing else, the dusky shark was something to marvel at as Cutugno headed back out on another expedition to find more.
“Shark Tony” spends most of his days on the beach in Ocean City. He said he usually heads out just before sundown to search for more sharks.
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