The 4,500-lb. White Shark

The 4500-lb. white shark

I shot this picture from the flying bridge of my boat the Cricket II, looking down into the cockpit, as we were towing the fish home. My mate was holding up a Boston mackerel in the foreground to show size difference. It took five hand-held harpoons, four barrels and five hours for us to get a tail rope on her and start home. We caught this fish on June 6, 1964.

The events behind the capture of this fish helped influence author Peter Benchley to write the novel Jaws. For instance, we had motor trouble: our main saltwater intake cooling pump broke down and I was trying to replace it during the barrel chase.

This was one of the biggest fish ever caught commercially by harpoon and it was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest catch.