Record Tiger Shark caught near Marco Island

Paul Hartman
Special to the Eagle

Mark Stock landed what he says is a record class tiger shark on April 25 while fishing out of Marco Island with charter Captain Ben Olsen. The creature measured 14 feet, six inches.

The current Florida state record tiger shark is a 1,065 fish that was 12 and one-half feet and caught out of Pensacola waters in 1981. Stock’s shark was estimated to weigh more than 1,100 pounds but it’s exact weight will never be known as it was immediately released.

Captain Ben Olsen says he’s caught tiger sharks exceeding 12 feet but, “this shark was truly special, and our number-one priority was to get her released in good shape, as quickly as possible.”

Beth Deacy, a biologist with NOAA Fisheries Panama City Florida Lab and head of their shark-tagging program, told Stock that based on this shark’s length in comparison with other similar sized tigers, it would most likely put its age between 15 and 20 years.