Jay Holloway loves to fish.
That’s why while he and his family was on vacation in Florida over Christmas and New Years, he begged to venture into the warm Atlantic waters aboard a chartered fishing boat.
For a guy used to reeling in a channel cat, what he hooked into New Years Eve came as quite a shock. "It was a shark," he said Monday, not long after returning from his excursion.
"It was awesome," the Great Bend man said. "My arm is still sore" from the hour-plus-long battle.
Technically, what he hauled into that small vessel was a 10-and-a-half-foot, 350-pound sickle-fin hammerhead shark. "It’s rare to catch one of those," said a spokesperson for Reel Appeal, the chartering service employed by Holloway and company. "There aren’t many of them out there."
On the boat were Holloway, his nephew Cain Amos (and his son Austin), his dad Gene Holloway and his half sister Debbie Ackley. "We were actually fishing for sail fish or whatever else would bite," Holloway said.
However, Holloway snagged the shark. Cain Amos helped, but before long, just about everyone else with a line in the water hooked something. That left Holloway locked in a pitched duel.
As a side note, while this was going on, Holloways wife Dawn and daughter Montana where back in Fort Lauderdale shopping.
He was eventually able to get the beast aboard. "This was the first time I’d been deep-sea fishing," he said. "It was quite an experience."
The family had left Christmas Day. After what Holloway described as a "hectic start" to the trip, they took a cruise. After returning to shore, the guys spotted the sign for Reel Appeal. "We begged and pleaded (with their mother Mary Holloway) to let us go," he said.
They returned Saturday, Jan. 1, with more than the standard photos and other souvenirs. The shark is being mounted and will be returned to Holloway.