Following up yesterday’s blog about tagged great white sharks being located in the Gulf of Mexico, there was a relevant entry this morning on my Facebook about a white that was actually caught in the Pensacola surf.

The Outdoor Life post was about a Feb. 12 catch during a Big John Shark Charter trip after Capt. David Miller ran a yellowfin tuna head for bait 900 yards offshore with his kayack. There was nothing “IGFA” about the battle as four fishermen fought the shark from a shark rack contraption anchored in the sand by just cranking on the big game reel as commercial giant tuna fishermen do from their rod holders.

It took only a bit over an hour to get the shark close enough to identify it as an endangered white rather the expected tiger or bull. Since federal law requires whites to be released immediately, there wasn’t time to properly measure it, but John McLean has caught 12-foot sharks and estimated the white at 13 feet before the crew cut the line and pushed it in the right direction.

This is the first time I’ve heard of a large white being caught in the surf, though they’ve proven several times that they aren’t afraid of shallow waters by attacking swimmers and surfers. Though NOAA Fisheries must be pleased to hear about that release, I wonder how Pensacola beachgoers feel about it?

A small craft warning is up in NY/NJ Bight from this evening to late tonight, before being followed by a gale warning from Saturday morning to afternoon. The forecast is for northeast winds at 20-25 knots plus gusts to 35 along with morning rain and snow.


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