American Yakers, a group of veterans and enlisted military member are still basking in their victory after one of the anglers landed a 10-foot mako shark from the beach.
The anglers were in Navarre, Fla., when Chester Gamble, co-founder of the group, hooked up with the mako shark on Saturday, battling the beast for two hours. It’s pretty incredible that they were able to bring in a mako from the beach because they’re very rarely caught from shore.
The group consists of members of the military and their families and allows them to go on no-cost fishing charters.
They use fishing as a way to help veterans deal with PTSD and other issues common to men and women in the military.
“Fishing with vets who share the same issues tends to help with the communication,” says the groups co-founders, Chester Gamble and David Wood. “We can relate with each other. We don’t force conversation about our issues.”
The group has caught hundreds of sharks throughout their time fishing, but they rarely keep them. Typically they just tag the sharks they catch and release them for the NOAA Apex Predator program, but they couldn’t pass up holding onto this once in a lifetime mako.