The ability of sharks to detect electrical impulses is convenient for finding tasty morsels to eat – or trolling motors as the case may be. During the 83rd Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, one group of anglers ran into such an issue 8 miles off of Dauphin Island when a tiger shark decided to give their Minn Kota Riptide a little chomp.
It all started with missing fish and severed, tattered 80-pound leaders. Soon a likely culprit emerged and that’s when things got interesting. After disappearing, reappearing, and circling a bit, a tiger shark estimated to be 10 feet long and 700 pounds went for the motor, undeterred by the spinning prop.
The anglers were using a trolling motor featuring i-Pilot that controls boat position via GPS. The frequent activity of the trolling motor as it maintains the boat’s position emits electric impulses into the water. Sharks are able to detect such currents and theoretically equate them to prey, making this mouth-to-motor matchup practically meant to be.
At the conclusion of the event, the shark departed and the anglers have a new story to share. Their brand new motor came away with teeth marks on the metal housing and propeller blades, but at least it’s not in the belly of a tiger.