Captain Scott Fitzgerald of Madfish Charters was fishing for amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico, around eight and a half miles out to sea off Panama City Beach, when he felt a large bump against his boat.
The bump turned out to be a great white shark, which had taken issue with the trolling motor of Fitzgerald’s 22 foot-long Sea Hunt. The shark itself looks somewhere in the region of 10-15 foot.
God damn ya, don’t you eat my trolling motor again
“He knocked the boat 2 feet to the side, then grabbed the trolling motor and started shaking it in his mouth,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s when I ran up front and pulled it out of his mouth. Every time I put [the motor] back into the water he would go after it again,” said Fitzgerald. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Fitzgerald filmed the shark circling his boat using his mobile phone, but when the shark attacked the motor for the third time he decided to vate the area. The video footage shows the captain caught between fear, excitement and annoyance; the trolling motor was brand new, and Fitzgerald was understandably keen to avoid any serious damage. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has confirmed that the shark was indeed a great white.
“I’ve been chartering for 9 years, and I’ve never seen a shark try to attack my boat,” said Fitzgerald. “It was very exciting for all of us. It really got our hearts beating hard.” Captain Scott Fitzgerald is not to be confused with Scott F. Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby, who has been dead for some years. Media reports that the American writer’s fishing boat has been attacked by a shark are manifestly untrue.
Only last week, two Australian fishermen off the coast of New South Wales, not far from Newcastle, had their fishing boat headbutted by a 5m great white. One of the two men seems fairly chilled out about the whole thing, the other one – perhaps not unreasonably – pretty much shits himself, which makes for entertaining viewing. A few days prior to that, a pod of dolphins had been attacked by a tiger shark close to shore near busy Newcastle beaches, leading to beach closures in the local area lasting over a week.