It’s mako/thresher shark season in Southern California and there’s a million dollars up for grabs for the fisherman who can bag a record-breaking fish in an invitational tournament that pits the best shark fishermen from the West Coast against the best from the East.
The contest will be a televised show, produced by Gurney Productions, for the OLN network. The show is called Shark Hunters 2 — East vs. West and is the second such program that OLN has aired.
“This was one of OLN’s highest-rated shows last year,” said Scott Gurney of Gurney Productions. “It created a lot of hype and a lot of press for OLN. There were multiple sharks caught over 600 pounds and one that even broke the scale — it was over 800.”
Last year, the show revolved around three local tournaments, with the winning fishermen gaining rights to compete in a final contest with a prize of a brand-new sportfishing boat.
For this year’s competition, there were a total of ten teams chosen from the East Coast and ten from the West and they competed for entrance into a “fish-off” on each coast.
The fish-off will be comprised of five winning teams from each coast for a total of ten teams in all.
The team that hauls in the heaviest shark wins a Proline Sportfisher, and if anyone is lucky enough to break the world record for a mako or thresher — approximately 1,200 pounds — they will win $1 million in cash.
The fishing on the East Coast will take place at Pt. Pleasant, New Jersey and off the coast of Massachusetts, and in Marina del Rey on the West Coast.
The stated purpose of the show is to call attention to the beauty and power of the species in the hope of promoting conservation.
This year’s episodes will also contain segments by marine biologists describing the science behind these stealthy carnivores.
“They’re going to be doing a tracking segment as well,” said Gurney. “So not only are we going to get the entertainment of watching the catching of these fish, we’ll also get to learn about the species as a whole.”
The field has now been narrowed to five teams on each coast and the West Coast squad will soon be flying to Massachusetts to compete against their East Coast rivals.
Subsequent to this contest, all ten teams will fish in the grand finale off the coast of Marina del Rey on Saturday and Sunday, August 26th and 27th, to see who gets crowned the ultimate Shark Hunter.