An interesting case from 1937 involving two commercial fishermen, Herbert Cope and Dodge Collins, of Alton, Illinois, says the two men caught a bull shark in the Mississippi River. That’s right. These two men caught a 5-foot, 84-pound bull shark that managed to swim 1,750 miles up the river.
Cope and Collins initially noticed something had messed up their wood and mesh traps that summer, so they set one made out of strong wire, using chicken guts for bait. It turned out to do the trick, since when they returned the next morning, they had captured something they never thought they’d see anywhere near Illinois.
Many people assumed the story of a bull shark in Illinois was a hoax, but an old photograph appears to show the catch was actually a bull shark.
It’s hard to believe a shark could survive anywhere near that long in freshwater, but bull sharks have been known to survive for long periods of time in freshwater.
A case in 1972 involved the capture of a bull shark that had managed to swim 2,500 miles up the Amazon. It’s a good thing dams block off ocean access of the Mississippi River from any bulls that may decide to see if they can top their ancestors record and make it even farther.