By Cailey Rizzo
July 23, 2019
Great white shark
Credit: Getty Images

Doug Nelson, his son and a few friends were fishing off the coast of Massachusetts over the weekend and things were going pretty well. The group was reeling in quite a few large striped bass, so Nelson decided to take a video to show off the catch. But he ended up capturing something much more amazing.

As they reeled in the fish, a great white shark snuck up to the surface of the water and snatched the fish off the line. The shark was so close his tail hit the boat’s stern as he lurched away with his prize.

A Massachusetts shark researcher tweeted that the video was a “good reminder that they don’t just eat seals and always be cautious when retrieving your catch.”

Great whites populate the Cape Cod Bay every summer but sightings have increased this year. There have been more than 100 shark sightings so far this summer and 30 in the last week alone, according to NBC Boston.

Some credit this to a shark population boom, thanks in part to federal regulations that protect them. They are also more likely to be found around the bay as the local seal population there has also increased (meaning more opportunities to find food). Earlier this year, divers off the coast of Oahu came in contact with one of the largest great white sharks ever on record.

The shark only managed to bite half of the fish off the line. “We actually ate the other half last night for dinner,” Nelson told the Boston Globe. “It was pretty good.”

Conservationists encourage those who spot a great white in the wild to report it. You can use the app “Sharktivity” from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy to submit sightings.