A juvenile great white shark has been caught from the beach in Panama City, Florida by a group of fishermen known as the Dark Side Sharkers.
The great white shark is an extremely protected species, so any time one is caught there is A LOT of drama involved. The Dark Side Sharkers reeled in the gargantuan juvenile great white shark up onto the beach, where they tagged the shark and then released it back into the waters.
The fishing crew caught the great white shark in Panama City by paddling out three baits (bonito) in a kayak 300-yards offshore, and then heading back to shore to play the waiting game.
After deploying three rods with their bait of choice for the night (bonito) via kayak, about 300 yards from the shoreline of the beach, Gabe, Derrick and the rest of the crew bundled up and began the long, tedious waiting game that is land-based shark fishing. They were there for the duration of the night, no matter how cold, miserable, or boring it got.
After a oddly silent night, and patiently waiting for the better part of seven hours, Derrick’s 80 wide rod tip started to bounce a bit. Whatever was gnawing at his bonito on the other end was acting very strange. It was picking up and dropping the bait repeatedly while staying inside a relatively small area. They immediately thought that it was “the curse of the nurse” better known as a nurse shark for all you non-sharkers.
After about 15 minutes of non-stop pulling, the mystery fish had finally tired out a bit, allowing them to begin gaining all the line they lost back onto the reel. Little by little, the spool began filling back up with all the line that was lost, and there was a sense of relief amongst the crew as they knew their chances of landing this beast had dramatically increased with the gaining of line.
About 45 minutes had elapsed when they saw the swivel attached to their leader rise out of the dark wash, and they knew the fish was right there in front of them. The rest of the crew rushed the surf with flashlights to try to spot and identify the beast they had been battling, when a dorsal broke the surface.
“DUSKY!” Someone yelled (which is very rare shark to see near the beach these days). But then the tail rose about six feet behind the dorsal, and nobody was sure what they were looking at anymore.
The crew rushed the surf to grab the leader, with Derrick still up on the beach working the rod, wondering what was happening in the wash.
“WHITE! IT’S A WHITE!” The crew began to yell up the beach toward Derrick. “A WHITE?! A GREAT WHITE?!” Derrick yelled as he de-harnessed and ran down the beach with the camera.
As I said before, anytime someone catches a great white shark there’s plenty of drama, and people are PISSED that they a) didn’t tag it in the water and/or b) didn’t release it quickly enough. But you know what? It’s the catch of a lifetime, they released the shark unharmed AND tagged, so anyone pissing and moaning really doesn’t have a whole lot to stand on.
They reeled in a GREAT WHITE. And they tagged it and released it back into the ocean. The only thing anyone can complain about is that they took photos with the fish, which is EXACTLY what a scientist would do if/when they were to tag one.
As for this shark being caught in an extremely popular spring break destination, I have news for you all: if you’ve been swimming in the ocean before, you’ve been very, VERY close to sharks. Sharks are everywhere, it’s their ocean (not ours). And just because one juvenile great white was caught on a beach in Florida does NOT mean that the waters aren’t safe anymore. But as for this 700-pound Mako caught last week just off the beach…well that’s a different story…
For more on this catch of a lifetime you can head on over to WideOpenSpaces by clicking HERE to read the full tale of the catch! Or you can check out the Dark Side Sharkers Facebook page for more photos.