Lemon Shark Catch: Matt Sechrist, Wheelchair-Bound Teen, Reels In 250-Pound Shark In Florida
Matt Sechrist, a 19-year-old Florida man, may be confined to a wheelchair, but that didn't stop him from hauling in a massive, 8-foot, 250-pound lemon shark.
Sechrist, who was born without legs, caught the lemon shark from a beach in Vilano Beach, Florida, last week. The fishing battle started when Ed Parrish, a Florida Forest Service firefighter and friend of his father's, kayaked a few hundred feet and dropped some bait. On the shore, Parrish set up fishing rods, and then men waited.
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Eventually they hooked a lemon shark, and Sechrist's father, David, took hold of the reel.
"We strapped his dad to it first and let him wear [the shark] down a bit," Parrish said. "I've got an extra large fighting harness, which we strapped around the wheelchair."
The men put the brakes on Sechrist's wheelchair, and they took turns holding the chair down with the help of Parrish's friend Victor Taylor and his son Kyle.
After battling the lemon shark for about an hour, Sechrist was able to reel him onto shore. Sechrist and his fishing buddies pulled the hook out of the lemon shark, took pictures with it, and then let it go back into the water.
"That's a memory that I'll be able to keep forever," said Sechrist about catching the lemon shark. "That's a special moment that I can use. Just one more thing on the resume of things that I've done."
Sechrist is heading to college in Pennsylvania soon, where he plans to major in human performance, in order to help train wheelchair athletes.
"I don't want people to look at me and my disability and see what I can't do," Sechrist said. "I'd rather them see me for what I can do."
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