Possible Record-Setting Shark Caught off Montauk

Paul Motta and his friends caught a 497-pound shark on Wednesday.

Six fishermen from Niantic made a catch they'll never forget when they reeled a 13-foot shark in off the coast of Long Island.

On Wednesday, Paul Motta and five of his friends watched the sun come up from Rockaway Chater.

After a three-and-a-half-hour boat ride, they anchored about 30 miles off the coast of Montauk and Motta’s friend, Justin, hooked the thresher shark.

Hooking the animal was just part of the battle as the shark put up a fight.

"It was crazy," Motta said. "We probably stood with the rod 20, 30 minutes each until we got really fatigued. Three and a half four hours it seemed like this shark never wanted to come up."

The shark was so big the guys had to get creative to get it into the back of the boat and used two ropes to heave it into the back of the boat."

Capt. John Haney headed back to Niantic and took the shark to J&B Tackle for an official weigh-in and learned the shark was 497 pounds.

"Just regular fisherman putting your time in and getting lucky and, I don't know, one day you're a fisherman and I don't know, almost feel like a celebrity," Motta said.

The friends split up the shark and each brought about 40 pounds of meat home for their families to enjoy.

"My wife was so excited for me, she came down from New Britain and we had dinner,” Motta said. “Grilled thresher is delicious.”

Motta said he thinks they broke a new record for longest and heaviest thresher shark caught in the area.

The current state record holder is Mark Hiller
, who caught a 467-pound thresher shark off Montauk point in 2006. 

J&B Tackle will get official word next week. 

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