Early to bed, early to rise, fish all day, tell big lies. You know those "fish stories" told by many and believed by none? This one would be just like that ... except the fishermen caught it all on camera.

While fishing off the Louisiana coast, William Wall and Ryan Willsea managed to film a rarely documented case of shark-on-shark predation. The pair had hooked a hammerhead and were busy bringing it in when an even bigger (and hungrier) tiger shark swam in to snag the large catch.

Though we don't often get to witness it, sharks are known to hunt each other, and tiger sharks are renowned for their unfussy eating habits. They feast on everything from sea turtles to birds, and even the occasional bit of floating trash. In this case, the incapacitated fish probably looked like an easy meal.

The tiger shark's victim here appears to be a smooth hammerhead. Often described as the "Ferraris of the ocean" due to their impressive agility and speed, hammerheads are known to put up a fight on the line. Wall and Willsea estimate that this specimen weighed around 1,000 pounds, but that proved no trouble for the tiger shark. 

Whether or not the fishermen intended to hook the hammerhead remains unclear, but these animals are very sensitive to stress, and often die even after they've been released from a fight on the line. 

Smooth hammerheads prefer shallow waters and tend to cruise close to shore (and even inshore in bays and estuaries), which makes encounters with recreational fishermen very likely. The size of the animal suggests it's a sub-adult, and since hammerheads take a long time to reach maturity, the loss of such a healthy shark is unfortunate. And although smooth hammerheads are not protected in Louisiana's waters, cutting the line is always the best course of action if you're uncertain of the species you've caught. 


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