Shark Wrestler


Brett McBride — The Evolution Of A Shark Man

By Chris Landers
Published: April/May 2013

A childhood dream to become a professional fisherman takes an unexpected twist.

Photo of Brett McBride

Brett McBride

Captain Brett McBride, who sprang to fame on National Geographic's "Shark Men", says he is not a showboater. This is partly a response to critics who have accused him of exactly that. As he says it, he's demonstrating his technique for leading a 17-foot long great white into a metal-and-plastic corral, lifting the whole thing out of the water to tag the shark, while streaming seawater over its gills with a hose, and then steering the huge animal out the other side, by the tail. (It is no more complicated, and no saner, than it sounds.)

McBride is the captain aboard Ocearch, the vessel owned by the organization, of the same name, that facilitates the research of sharks. They partner with scientists to give them a research platform for tagging and testing great whites. Scientists who've worked with them say it is a unique opportunity to document a species about which little is known, but the mission has not been without controversy. Before the vessel arrived in Cape Cod last summer, a petition against them circulated, criticizing their methods. If there is an element of showmanship in what he does, McBride says it's for a good cause.

Photo of Brett McBride wrestling a shark Photo: Ocearch

Shark wrestling is all in a day's work for Brett McBride.

"The television part is a huge part of what we do," McBride says. "It creates awareness. We have millions of kids watching. There might be 10 thousand new marine biologists that are 6 or 12 years old now and are getting inspired by what we're doing."

McBride has been in front of the camera for 15 years now, first on ESPN2's "Offshore Adventures", then a progression of shows ("Ocean Hunters", "Shark Hunters", "Shark Men") leading to "Shark Wranglers" (on the History Channel), which documents the voyages of their boat.

1 | 2 | Next


 Recommended Articles
Gray rule

Thumbnail photo of Bob Baumhower on a jetskiBob Baumhower: From Killer B To Bimini Bob

A childhood dream to become a professional fisherman takes an unexpected twist

Thumbnail photo of Matt Rutherford aboard his sailboatMatt Rutherford Vs. the World

He's sailed 42,000 miles over the past five years and become the first man to circumnavigate the Americas solo

Thumbnail photo of Sprague Theobald It's Just My Day Job

For these ten boaters, firing up the engines and casting off is something they do every day


More True Stories ...

To read other true stories of how a childhood boating or fishing passion evolved into a full time career see:

Teresa Carey — The Art Of Living Simply
Steve Black — Fishing Passion Inspires Culinary Creations


BoatUS Magazine Is A Benefit Of BoatUS Membership

Membership Also Provides:

  • Subscription to the print version of BoatUS Magazine
  • 4% back on purchases from West Marine stores or online at
  • Discounts on fuel, transient slips, repairs and more at over 1,000 businesses
  • Deals on cruises, charters, car rentals, hotel stays and much more ...
  • All For Only $24 A Year!

Join Today!