KEY BISCAYNE, FLA. (WSVN) - A group of South Florida fishermen experienced a wild encounter after they came across a massive predator.

The group spotted a large shark off the coast of Key Biscayne, Thursday.

“I can tell you, I’m 99% sure it’s a great white shark,” said Zoo Miami communications director Ron Magill. “At the beginning of the video, it was kind of iffy, just a great dark blob, but it cleared up pretty well later on.”

A great white shark popped up from the ocean and swam along their boat.

“Q spotted this dark shadow in the water and was like, ‘What the hell is that?’ And we backed up to it, kind of circled around,” said Luca Nido, First Mate of Cutting Edge Fishing, “and we couldn’t figure out what it was at first, and then we realized it was a great white just cruising in 15 feet of water.”

Captain Quinton Dieterle of Cutting Edge Fishing hasn’t encountered a fish like this in over two decades. He was just as stunned to see the shark as his passengers.

“As I approached it, it started to rise up and at first I was like, ‘Oh, man, is that a whale shark up in here?’ It’s kind of cool, and it was so wide,” he said, “but as we approached it, obviously there’s only one fish in the ocean bigger and meaner, and that’s a great white.”

Nido said the shark was 20 feet long, and though it is incredibly rare to spot a great white in Miami waters, Magill said it’s not uncommon for sharks to travel during winter.

“It is more common to see here in December, yes. It’s not a common shark to see here at all, but I know they have been spotted off the coast, ranging from Jacksonville to all the way down into the Keys,” said Magill.

A gift from Mother Nature, just in time for Christmas after a slow fishing day.

The shark floated to the surface and let everyone get a good look.

“You don’t see that often, and they were totally ecstatic over what they’d just seen, because I promise, they probably 100% never see that again,” said Dieterle.

“It ended up being, you know, one of the biggest animals I’ve ever seen,” said Nido. “It’s pretty cool to see. I mean, you don’t get to see too many of them, you know, in the wild, and to be in Miami in 15 feet of water, you can’t beat it.”

Magill said, although he wouldn’t recommend swimming with the great white, he also said it’s not a threat. It’s likely just passing through from coast to coast as seasons change.

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