Poco Cedillo from Robstown Texas caught the “catch of multiple lifetimes” along with some unjustified criticism back in the middle of July. I’m a huge #sharkweek fan, my son and I watch every year, it’s a mother and son tradition I suppose you could say. So when I see or read about anglers who have no respect for the ocean and the creatures that dwell within it I’m just as upset as anyone else is. When I saw the picture of the monster hammerhead shark Poco caught on the Padre Island National Seashore my mouth hit the floor. When you’re from Texas you just don’t think about there being such large underwater predators swimming around near the same beaches you’re vacationing at. So I clicked the picture to read more but when I saw a picture of the animal on shore and obviously no longer living I was done.

Courtesy of Poco Cedillo

 

I didn’t even bother reading the article. Such a massive creature didn’t get that way overnight so this had to be an older shark and to think it had made it this long only to have a careless trophy fisherman remove this beautiful animal from the ocean really disgusted me. That’s where I made the mistake most people do. Instead of reading and doing just a little more digging I judged first and asked questions…well today. I spoke to Mr. Cedillo today, and what he wants most isn’t just for people to remember how big of a catch he made, he wants people to know what he’s doing while he’s making those catches. You see, Poco isn’t really what you would call a “trophy fisherman”, what I mean is he’s making some pretty big catches when he can sure, but he’s also tagging those catches. That’s right, he’s tagging and recording information like measurements species ect.. and submitting it to the Center of Sportfish Science and Harte Research Institute. Harte Research Institute

Go ahead and do some reading, it’s really interesting stuff. The other thing Poco wants people to know is that he and others tried for half an hour to help the 14 foot hammerhead shark get it’s bearings and release it back to where it came from. You may find a few articles that include this information but not many, and you won’t find anywhere (as far as I’ve seen) any mention of the fact that not only did he and others try to release this beautiful animal (which is just common practice for Poco) but that attempting to help a 14 foot hammerhead shark back into the water even with help is very, VERY dangerous. I wonder did Mr. Cedillo truly comprehend how dangerous what he was attempting to do truly was? In the name of conservationism even I can’t say that I would do the same. In fact I know I wouldn’t, but that’s exactly what was done. The sad fact is that the shark was sickly and tired and it just wasn’t possible. When Poco realized they were fighting a losing battle he quickly did what was needed to make the preparations to donate the massive amount of shark meat to a local homeless shelter where it would not go to waste. He was very disappointed that he wasn't able to release the shark, as is his normal routine, but he acted quickly to make sure some good could still come out of the sad situation.
Mr. Cedillo graciously gave me permission to share some the pictures with you guys so check him out on Facebook and let him know how cool what he’s doing is (the tagging n such).