Jeff Warford joyfully remembers his encounter with a great white shark.
I didn't know what it was. Then I saw it and I was like, 'Oh my god, it's a great white.'
On Sunday, June 13th, this sports fisherman was surprised to discover a baby great white shark at the end of his line during a fishing trip off Seaside Heights in New Jersey (USA). The catch was all the more astonishing because it was made just under a mile from the American coast.
A great white shark at the end of the line
Interviewed by local media outlet PhillyVoice, Warford said he and his crew were fishing for thresher sharks, a species that is legal to catch and is regularly seen along the east coast of the United States. And that's what he thought he was fishing for until he discovered that his catch was actually a great white shark.
According to him, the aquatic predator took a bite on his line about 75 feet from the boat. The animal then charged the vessel, swimming under the bow. It took the fishermen no less than 15 minutes to discover the nature of their catch, which they then took another 20 minutes to release safely.
In a video shared on Facebook by Reel Innovation Sportfishing, Jeff Warford's organisation, the shark can be seen struggling alongside the boat as the crew prepare to release it.
‘I think it was young and dumb’
A fisherman for 35 years and a professional captain since 2013, Jeff Warford said it was the first time he had caught such a shark and only the second time he had seen one.
‘I think it was young and dumb,' he said, perhaps a tad harshly, when recalling his catch.
A bigger great white, they know something's up when they see the line. This young one obviously was just hungry and wasn't smart enough to see that it was attached to a line.