MARSHFIELD - Gary Heisey spent 24 years trying to catch a mako shark. On Monday, off the coast of Marshfield, his dream came true.
Gary Heisey spent 24 years trying to catch a mako shark. On Monday, off the coast of Marshfield, his dream came true.
Heisey, a diner owner from Lebanon, Pa., was fishing out of Green Harbor with his restaurant’s managers when his charter boat captain saw the massive shark in the water.
The shark was about 10 feet long and weighed 482 pounds. It took Heisey about two hours to reel it in.
Kevin Scola, captain and owner of Blue Water Charters, said another passenger reeled in a codfish that had been bitten by a shark. He saw the shark in the water and put in a special line to catch it. Scola and Heisey debated whether it was a mako.
‘‘We were cod fishing. We were lucky enough to just get one,’’ Scola said. ‘‘A 500-pound mako is extraordinary. That’s a big fish.’’
Heisey, 36, said he started fishing with his father when he was 12. His goal all those years was to catch a mako. His father is now in the hospital with congestive heart failure.
‘‘It’s the fastest fish in the ocean. ... It’s the toughest one to catch,’’ Heisey said Tuesday night. ‘‘It’s just kind of a dream. You set a goal.’’
After he caught the shark, he called his father in the hospital. His father didn’t believe it until Heisey sent a video.
Heisey, the father of six, said he can’t legally sell the shark in his restaurant, but he’s been giving it away to friends and customers. He spent nearly seven hours cutting it up into steaks Tuesday afternoon.
‘‘All of Lebanon County is eating mako shark,’’ he said.
Sydney Schwartz may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .