Surfer Who Nicknamed Himself ‘Shark Bait’ Finally Lives Up To His Name

great white shark

Artak Petrosyan / Unsplash


Nicknames have so much variety to them. You’ve got extra large dudes nicknamed ‘tiny’. There are guys named Richard who go by ‘Dick’. Some guys are given their nicknames and others nickname themselves. I’ve got a story below about a nickname given to me in North Carolina by a cop who I’m pretty sure was dyslexic.

A 36-year-old surfer from Australia named Joel Mason who nicknamed himself ‘shark bait’ because he’d often go surfing at the ass crack of dawn, alone, in shark-infested waters. It’s not a terrible nicknamed, to be honest. I’d dig it more if it was given to him because of a previous shark attack and not something he started calling himself one day, but ol’ Shark Bait has finally lived up to his name and earned his title.

According to The Sydney Herald, Shark Bait was attacked by a shark around 7am Sunday morning and suffered five deep lacerations to his leg before swimming to a nearby seawall where he was able to crawl out of the water and get help.

He was treated at the scene for his wounds and then flown to a hospital where he’s now listed as being in Stable Condition.

Mr Mason’s father, Rob, told Nine News his son has loved surfing since he was young and it was “very disturbing” when he found out about the incident.
“He’s surfed since he was 5 or 6 years old,” Mr Mason said.

“He loves to surf early and he loves to surf by himself which is sort of a bit risky.

“He says he’s shark bait but he’s prepared to take the risk and he does.”
NSW Ambulance spokesman Steve Fraser said Mr Mason remained “extremely calm, extremely stoic” throughout the ordeal. (via)

Extremely calm and stoic throughout? It sounds to me like he was in shock from being attacked by a f*cking shark and suffering five deep lacerations to his leg.

According to For The Win, the encounter took place in an area that’s known to be inhabited by several species of sharks including Great White sharks, Bull sharks, and Tiger sharks. Those are three sharks fully capable of a fatal encounter with a human being.

My name’s Cass. It pretty much rhymes with every goddamn word underneath the sun. I went through more nicknames than I can ever keep track of. My favorite is probably the cop is from the cop in Asheville, N.C. who pulled me over for a broken tail light the night I was a designated driver in my friend’s car and unbeknownst to me, there were a bunch of empty beer cans in the open trunk of the SUV.

The cop walks up with his flashlight, sees the empties, immediately asks me to get out of the car and puts me in handcuffs before asking anything. Then takes my wallet out and grabs my ID…”What’s your name, boy, Cat? Cat Sanderson?!” to which I responded “Sir, you’re literally holding my ID in your hand. It says Cass Anderson.”

That one cop turned into something like 11 cops, 2 dogs, and 7 cop cars. They just kept driving by and seeing the lights and pulling over to see what their friends were up to. Ultimately, one of the cops asked me what was happening and I told them how I was actually being responsible (for once) and a completely sober driver. They ticketed the friend for underage drinking and alcohol possession and let us go.

I got pretty sidetracked there. It’s been years since that happened and I still can’t get the image out of my head of that cop standing there with my ID in his hand, me in handcuffs (innocent), and him unable to read my name.

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