It's relatively rare to spot a great white shark in the relatively warm waters of Florida. It's even rarer to find an 18-foot specimen lurking in the Gulf of Mexico, but a Canadian tourist got the fishing trip of a lifetime when he hooked such a beast during a chartered jaunt just 30 miles off the coast of St. Petersburg.
According to USA Today, Canadian Fab Marchese chartered a fishing trip during his Florida vacation. The boat had traveled about 30 miles out from John's Pass near St. Pete when they noticed what they assumed was a submarine lurking just below the water.
Turned out the silhouette belonged to a great white. Marchese then hooked the shark, which dragged the boat for about five miles, before attempting to reel it in with relatively light tackle. But because the shark is protected, the crew eventually had to cut it loose.
The crew captured video of the adventure.
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Great white sharks aren't all that common near Florida but not unheard of. They're most often spotted in waters off the northeast region of the state. Just earlier this year, two great whites were repeatedly tracked swimming about ten miles off Jacksonville. Last summer, free divers encountered a great white off the coast of Fort Pierce.