Keith Poe spends days at a time alone in deep water off California, fishing for and tagging mako sharks, which the conservationist labels, "the ultimate predator."
Recently, however, the world's most prolific tagger was accompanied by a crew from the Outdoor Channel's Blue Water Savages show, chummed up an 11-foot, 900-pound mako shark, and allowed the show hosts to jump in and videotape their encounter.
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"This is a very dangerous situation, and we're not fooling ourselves," one of them says on camera.
The accompanying video footage is a snippet of what viewers can expect as the show, Monster Mako, airs throughout this week.
It was captured by Poe with his pole-cam, showing shark experts Eli and David Martinez, and Robin Berg grouped together in a very precarious situation as the hungry mako searches for the source of the chum. (The two top photos are courtesy of the Blue Water Savages crew.)
Mako sharks are pelagic predators that are not as notorious as great white sharks when it comes to danger to humans – because their realm is the offshore pelagic zone – but are the world's fastest sharks, and far more dynamic in the manner by which they hunt. (Makos also have been linked to several attacks on divers.)
Says Poe in the video: "A mako shark does what it wants, when it wants. It's not like a great white that has to go ambush stuff. It takes [its prey] out in open water, anyplace, anywhere, anytime. It runs anything down… the ultimate predator."
Blue Water Savages posted about their adventure Tuesday on Facebook, and wrote: "Keith Poe drove straight to a predetermined spot, dropped two buckets of chum in the water and motored at 5 knots for about 40 minutes, we then drifted for a couple of hours, and just as the sun was beginning to set, this massive mako shark appeared!
"It was so surreal! As if this shark were part of the cast, and was standing by to put on a magnificent performance. I mean, it was all really weird, and felt like it was meant to go down exactly as it did. Eli and I are still high as a kite on the experience.”
The Blue Water Savages crew was so impressed that it plans to include Poe in several episodes next year.
Said Poe via email: "Basically the guys freaked out about the experience and they want to do their whole next-year season with me."
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