MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Morristown man came home from spring break with a whopper of a fish tale after snagging a 2,500 pound great white shark.
Troy Bowman is a math professor at Walters State Community College in Morristown who spent his spring break fishing off the coast of Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. He's a man who lives according to the numbers he can solve and equate, but he can't figure out the probabilities of what happened to him.
Bowman was on a guided fishing tour when he and the captain of the boat hooked a great white shark on their line. Bowman said the two of them fought the shark for at least four hours before it finally tired enough that they could bring it close to the boat.
"It's like being at the zoo and looking down at like a rhino or an elephant in the water," Bowman explained. "I couldn't believe it. It's unbelievable. It's hard to think that I was that close to one."
The boat's captain, Chip Michalove, estimated the shark to be about 14 feet long, at least 2,500 pounds, and said it's the first fully mature great white to be reeled in with a fishing pole in about 30 years.
"It was like a submarine with a tail on it, is what it was," Michalove explained.
By the time the shark was brought up to the side of the boat, night had fallen and a second boat had joined the fight to offer some relief to the two anglers. Bowman said Michalove put a tagging device on the shark so it could be tracked for research before cutting the line and letting the shark swim off. Michalove is seen in the picture leaning over the side of the boat and touching the nose of the shark. Bowman said there is no way he was going to get close enough to touch the beast.
Bowman said it was an experience he'll never forget, and one he hopes to be able to experience again.