Hammer down on the 100 proof

Tina Harbuck

It was a tough battle, but Michael Bulger of Freeport prevailed.

Fishing aboard the 100 Proof with Capt. Ben O'Connor, Bulger hauled in a 160.8-pound scalloped hammerhead shark on Tuesday for a spot on the daily board in the 66th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.

"It was an adventure," Capt. O'Connor said.

Bulger hooked the hammer on a shark rig using a slab of king mackerel for bait near the southwest Edge.

"It was a big pull," Bulger said.

When the shark latched on to the bait it took Bulger for a walk.

"I had to walk him to the front, then to the back," he said noting the shark drug him back and forth.

Strapped into a harness to help hold the rod, Bulger said, "It was tough to keep it up. I had to sit down after a while."

Nevertheless after 40 minutes, Bulger prevailed and got the shark to the boat.

In addition to his hammerhead, captain said they saw two more shark just swimming around the bait, but no takers.

However, they did catch king mackerel, mingo, rock salmon and a Creole snapper.

Bulger's catch, like all daily winners, was good for a free rodeo T-shirt.