Fishing took a backseat for some Florida anglers last Thursday when a large great white shark began to circle their 34-foot boat, at times within touching distance.
Erika Almond, owner of the Offshore Therapy vessel, captured the accompanying footage, which also shows the shark biting her outboard motors as the anglers watched in awe.
Capt. Tyler Levesque, who was hired by Almond to take her and a few friends snapper fishing, is the man seen touching the shark in the image atop this post.
“The whole experience was amazing,” he told For The Win Outdoors.
The encounter occurred 65 miles out of Venice in the Gulf of Mexico.
Almond explained that the shark, measuring perhaps 16 feet, appeared in a chum slick as the group was catching yellowtail snapper and mangrove snapper.
In a video recording, Almond stated: “The thing that made this even more interesting was this shark was not going to leave. He was there for about two to three hours, circled our boat continuously, bit the back of the boat several times, bit the motor several times, and even rolled on its back to show us its belly, as if it wanted us to pet it.”
Levesque said that at one point he fed the shark a longfin yellowtail that one of the anglers had caught.
Great white sharks might be attracted to electrical impulses emitted by boat motors, and bite them as a behavioral response. But white sharks also test bite items they perceive as potential prey.
Almond said Levesque touched the shark’s snout mainly to shove it from the motors.
The bites were not ferocious. However, Almond said that toward the end of the encounter the shark “came charging underneath the motors to attack them again, and hit them so hard that it caused boat to rock, and that’s when it took off.”