Monday, March 14, 2016

Chip Michalove Catches 2,500-Pound Great White Shark, Names It Wildcat

Chip Michalove, the Hilton Head Island fisherman who I've mentioned on the site in the past, hauled in the catch of a lifetime last week.

Michalove and a client managed to land the biggest Great White Shark taken by standard tackle in the last 30 years off the Hilton Head coast.

The monster shark was a 2,500-pound behemoth. It took the pair of fisherman more than three hours to land the beast.

“We took a DNA clip from the left pectoral fin and then put an acoustic tag at the base of her dorsal fin,” Michalove told Allkyhoops.

The shark was released, unharmed and swam away in perfect condition. 

Captain Chip, who was born in Lexington and raised in Louisville, gave the shark a name that Kentucky fans will appreciate. 

A lifelong University of Kentucky basketball fan, Chip gave the shark an appropriate name: Wildcat. 

"I base my winter schedule around Kentucky games," Michalove explained. "Between following you on Twitter and listening to KSR daily, I feel I can get my UK fix."

Michalove even uses rods that show support for the Cats.

"I was recently sponsored by a rod company and they customize all my rods blue and white only," he said. "I have an Outcast fishing rod line and the best one is named 'Big Blue.'"

Chip doesn't shy away from friendly banter with rival fans. 

"The (Rick) Pitino scandal has been the best thing since 2012," Michalove said with a smile. 

He also shared a story about a boat load of Wisconsin fans he encountered last summer. 

"I had a group of Wisconsin fans on the boat last summer and it nearly turned into mutiny," he explained. "It started to get really awkward. I may have crossed the line when one of them said 'we should've beat you the year before, too.'"

Captain Chip routinely attends Kentucky games despite a hectic fishing schedule. 

"I come up for about two games a season...always the Louisville game," he noted. "I also go to the South Carolina vs. UK game in Columbia annually."

More on the tagging process from the Island Packet:

With help from Troy Bowman of Tennessee, a client who was on board, and John Brackett, another Hilton Head charter captain who abandoned his dinner at the Skull Creek Boathouse to come to Michalove’s aid, Michalove was able to land the shark.

Near her dorsal fin, he attached an acoustic tag, which was sent to him by a scientist from Massachusetts who will track and study her behavior.

He took a DNA sample from her pectoral fin.

And after he unhooked the shark, he made sure she was strong and healthy before letting her swim away.

Before all this, though, he put his hand on her nose, then lifted her so he could see inside her mouth and know what tools he would need to unhook her.

“It’s indescribable,” he said of his encounters with the great whites. “It’s the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done. … This is better than the lion, the tiger, the gator. This is the pinnacle of all animals. I’m ready to give my whole bank account up to chase great whites.”

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Want to catch a shark with Captain Chip? Go Here (trust me...there's NOTHING like it)

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