— Chris Ercoli (@CERCOLICBS) February 22, 2017
Great white sharks are no strangers to Southern California waters. Fishermen have caught and released several, including some from piers, but rarely do you hear of one being caught from shore, though it isn’t unprecedented.
The latest incidental catch—great white sharks are illegal to catch—came Tuesday afternoon when a group of surf fishermen targeting thresher sharks inadvertently landed an 8-foot great white shark, as reported by the Orange County Register.
The catch occurred off a popular surf-fishing spot in Sunset Beach where numerous great white sharks have been spotted over the past few years.
Chris Ercoli, a video journalist from KCBS-TV, captured a couple of photos of the shark (in tweet at top) as the anglers tried to figure out a way to return it to the water, as required.
“They didn’t want to get bit, obviously,” Huntington Beach Marine Safety Officer and witness Michael Bartlett told the Register. “They were hesitant to touch it … Five guys were able to pull it back into the water.”
It was the first time in 31 years of lifeguarding that Bartlett had ever seen a great white shark caught from shore.
“Apparently they snagged this thing and battled it for about an hour,” Bartlett told the Register, implying it was a group effort. “They had some pretty serious line and tackle.
“They knew it was a great white shark when they saw it.”
According to a NOAA study, a great white shark measuring 8 feet weighs approximately 386 pounds. At that length, they are considered juveniles.
In another documentation of a great white shark being caught from shore in Southern California, a marine landed a 10-footer from the shore of Camp Pendleton in October 2013.
Others might have been caught and released without publicity. With an increasing number of great white sharks showing up along the coast, no doubt more will be caught.