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  • Cameron Kirkconnell begins his hunting dive near an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Cameron Kirkconnell begins his hunting dive near an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • The diver lines up for a shot.

    Photo: D.J. Struntz

    The diver lines up for a shot.

    The diver lines up for a shot.

  • Kirkconnell nears the end of a fight with a large bull mahi mahi.

    Kirkconnell nears the end of a fight with a large bull mahi mahi.

  • A hungry silky shark takes advantage of free handouts as Kirkconnell chums for tuna.

    A hungry silky shark takes advantage of free handouts as Kirkconnell chums for tuna.

  • Kirkconnell swims alongside a nine-foot silky shark. He said the animal seemed completely at peace after the encounter, which left him a little awestruck. That night we learned that Kirkconnell's grandfather, a guiding figure in his life, passed away

    Kirkconnell swims alongside a nine-foot silky shark. He said the animal seemed completely at peace after the encounter, which left him a little awestruck. That night we learned that Kirkconnell's grandfather, a guiding figure in his life, passed away at the same time he was swimming with the silky.

  • Craig Clasen hunts from the dark side of a weedline. Large game fish frequently lurk in just such a position while ambushing baitfish.

    Craig Clasen hunts from the dark side of a weedline. Large game fish frequently lurk in just such a position while ambushing baitfish.

  • Clasen and a 12-foot tiger shark at the conclusion of a two-hour-long battle that began when the shark rushed a videographer. "I want to be very clear," said Clasen. "That was not a proud kill for me, but I didn't have a choice. She was just being a shark

    Clasen and a 12-foot tiger shark at the conclusion of a two-hour-long battle that began when the shark rushed a videographer. "I want to be very clear," said Clasen. "That was not a proud kill for me, but I didn't have a choice. She was just being a shark."

  • Clasen swims beside a juvenile sea turtle in a sargassum patch.

    Clasen swims beside a juvenile sea turtle in a sargassum patch.

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