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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

August 10, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Nine year old boy catches 150-pound sixgill shark

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Hey check out this story about a sixgill shark being caught last Thursday:

By Susan Gilmore

Seattle Times staff reporter

When Cosmo Miller begins fourth grade next month, he will have quite a fish tale to share with his classmates.

Cosmo, 9, caught a 150-pound sixgill shark while fishing in Puget Sound near Burien last week. Using a 30-pound test line, it took him almost an hour to land the big fish and haul it to shore for pictures before turning it loose.

“It was really hard,” Cosmo said today. “But I had a really big fishing pole.”

Cosmo said he had seen smaller sixgill sharks near his grandparents’ home in Normandy Park and decided to try to catch one. He said he broke two fishing poles before landing the big one.

He used dogfish, a favorite meal of sixgill sharks, as bait. Cosmo said it was hard reeling it in, not only because it was so big but also because it liked to rest on the bottom of Puget Sound and was a slow swimmer.

He figures the fish was about 8 feet long, about half the size of the 16-foot boat he was fishing in.

Cosmo’s father, Howie Miller, said he at first didn’t believe the shark story.

“You know about fish stories, you need to have the pictures to prove it,” Miller said. “He needs to take them when he goes to school.” He’ll attend Marvista Elementary School in Normandy Park.

Cosmo’s grandfather, Dave Woltz, was fishing with his grandson when he hooked the shark.

“It was quite a thrill watching a 9-year-old kid pull in that fish,” he said. “We had been fishing for about four hours and were ready to come in when all of a sudden he hooks this big thing. His face was beet red and I offered to help him, but he said no.”

It’s unusual for sixgill sharks to be in such shallow water; Cosmo figures his shark was in about 100 feet of water. They usually are deeper than 300 feet, said Greg Bargmann of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Bargmann figures fewer than 100 sixgill sharks are caught each year in Puget Sound. He said a 150-pound shark is small; the average is 400 to 600 pounds and up to 15 feet long, and the sixgill shark is one of the largest in the world. He said the shark caught by Cosmo was probably between 4 and 8 years old.

Fish and Wildlife and the Seattle Aquarium are studying sixgill sharks and have tagged some as part of their research. Bargmann said his department is studying whether female sharks come into Puget Sound to give birth and the adults leave. The younger sharks stay until age 10 or 12, he said.

Cosmo said he saw a show on the Discovery Channel about sixgill sharks and immediately recognized what he’d caught. Until then, the biggest fish he’d ever hooked was a 27-pound salmon.

Cosmo said he loves to fish and has even gone to Alaska with his grandfather. “When you catch a fish, it fights,” he said. “That’s why I like to go fishing.”

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