If you're keeping a scorecard of this summer's man vs. shark showdowns, the tally was, until this past weekend, Sharks: 1, Humans: 0. But Elliot Sudal has tied the score again after he wrestled a shark and won.
Sharks: 1. Humans: 1.
The 24-year-old was fishing for bluefish in Nantucket, Mass. on Sunday and noticed that he was only catching about half the fish he normally caught. Literally, half of a fish. "You could tell that clearly a shark had bitten [them], there was like a crescent moon, like a shark bite," he told CBS Boston. "Like your stereotypical, what a shark bite looks like."
Whereas a normal fisherman might, we don't know, get the hell out of there, Elliot Sudal is not a normal fisherman. He is like a fisherman on metaphorical crack, telling CNN, "[Fishing is] almost like a drug—I got used to catching bigger and bigger fish."
The "bigger fish" in this scenario was a 7-foot-long brown or sandbar shark that weighed 200 pounds. Sudal retrieved a bigger fishing rod from his car, used the already-bitten fish as bait and set about "shark fishing."
"That particular shark took about 45 minutes to get in," he recalls. When the shark was close enough to shore, Elliot grabbed it by its tail and wrestled it the rest of the way in. "It's a pretty crazy thing with the waves crashing and this shark trying to bite your hand off."
And breaking news: "It was not too happy about being dragged out of the water."
Sudal, as well as nearby beachgoers, took a few pictures with the shark and then released it to the ocean, presumably to warn its shark friends to stay away from the crazy dude in Nantucket who will wrestle you for fun (seriously, Sudal wasn't saving a child in danger. He was not nipping a Jaws-situation in the bud before Nantucket needed a bigger boat. He just wanted to wrestle a shark. Because.)
"I always treat them well. I'm very conservation-minded when it comes to that. I don't kill any of them, I just let them go," Sudal defended himself, though he did not defend himself against those who say wrestling a shark for no point is, well, pointless.
This wasn't his first time catching a shark, though. It wasn't even his first time catching a shark that day (he says he hooked three others, but they escaped). In the past year, he says he has caught some 100 sharks between Nantucket and Florida, the biggest being a 9-foot, 300-pound bull shark.
CNN also reports that, since the photographs and video of him shark wrestling have gone viral, Elliot has also received calls and messages from 100 women he's never met. So maybe there is a point.
One final sound bite worthy of noting: "It's crazy because people don't realize there's probably 50 more of them swimming right there," Sudal explained. "They're so close to shore, they're 10 feet off shore."
Sharks of the world, we have a proposal: We will stay out of your oceans if you stay off our land. Only then shall we all live peacefully, without fear of being eaten or wrestled. Also, please stay out of our tornados. That is all.