Boaters catch, release great white shark off Fort Lauderdale

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Boaters off the coast of South Florida made an unexpected and colossal catch after they spotted an adult great white shark.

David Greco, who owns Fort Lauderdale Fishing Charters in Hollywood, said he went out on the water with his friend Dominic Miller on Saturday.

Then they reeled in a big surprise off Fort Lauderdale.

“Well, day started, we were trolling around, caught a couple of bonitas,” said Greco, “traded those in for some, hopefully a big bite, and we got it.”

Cellphone video captured the marine predator just below the surface after it clamped its jaws down on a fishing line.

“He hit the bottom rod, the deep rod, so we didn’t see it, 500 feet,” said Greco.

The duo said they fought with the huge fish for about an hour and a half.

“I don’t know, about 16, 18 feet, weighing over 1,000 pounds,” said Greco. “The biggest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

The pair couldn’t believe what they were looking at. They said they experienced a range of emotions when they encountered the beast.

“Oh, excuse my language, but holy [expletive],” said Greco.

“Jumping up and down, mind-blowing,” said Miller.

The boaters released the shark shortly after.

State guidelines stipulate great white sharks cannot be taken out of the water.

“He was fine. We released him, circle hook, cut the line, and he swam away,” said Greco. “We had him up to the boat just long enough to take a couple of pictures, and then Dominic cut him, cut the line, and he swam. Great release, beautiful.”

The two friends said catching something that big and that special is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and they will never forget it.

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