Giant 809-pound tiger shark fed to needy Texans

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - An 809-pound tiger shark caught in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this month has been cooked and served to more than 90 poor and homeless Texans.

Timon's Ministries in Corpus Christi set up the donation of about 75 pounds of shark meat. Executive director Kae Berry tells the San Antonio Express-News that the 12-foot, 7-inch shark was the biggest fish ever donated to the center. A volunteer chef breaded and baked the meat.

Fisherman Ryan Spring, of San Antonio, had said he caught the shark after reeling it in for more than seven hours.

"It was like playing tug-of-war with a giant," Springs told KSAT-TV. "He’s pulling us and the water is just slapping against the back of boat. It was like a scene from the movie 'Jaws.'"

He said reeling in the giant predator marked the end of an epic battle.

"It’s hard to explain this thing about a fisherman fighting a fish," Springs told the TV station. "You’re probably just talking to yourself but you feel like you’re talking to the fish and saying things you probably can’t say on TV."

Berry says the volunteer chef did a great job preparing the food and "most people really enjoyed it." And the center says there are enough leftovers to serve up some shark stew next week.

The newspaper said Spring's giant catch did not beat the Texas record for a tiger shark, which is 1,129 pounds caught in 1992 by Chap Cain, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife.

The world record for a tiger shark catch is 1,785 pounds, which was caught in 2004 off the coast of Australia, according to the International Game Fish Association.

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