“Great White Lands in Boat”
By Terry D. Lacoss
“My wife Tabatha and I were both hooked up with large red snapper, just offshore of the Jacksonville jetties,” Jacob Cannady said. “I soon noticed a very large dark shadow following our hooked fish, the next thing we knew a 12-14 foot great white shark landed right in my 22-foot Pathfinder fishing boat”!
Earlier that morning Jacob Cannady, wife Tabatha and Derik Smith boarded Jacob’s 22-foot Pathfinder bay boat out of Jacksonville, just before the Christmas Holiday.
“We had been catching several nice cobia at BR fish haven,” Jacob said. “However when we arrived at the popular Jacksonville fishing waters, there were several fishing boats there already. This prompted us to move to CH reef where right away we began hooking up to large red snapper”.
“Derik had just caught and released a tagged red snapper and was now hooked up to a small shark that was soon eaten by a larger shark. The fishing action was picking up which prompted Derik to start videoing the action with his cell phone. In the meantime Tabatha and I were hooked up to large red snapper that were putting a deep bend in our bottom fishing tackle. A very large dark shadow appeared below our struggling snapper and before we could think, a 12-14 foot great white “Great White” shark had literally jumped right in the boat with us! I knew its head was a foot and a half wide and estimated to weight at well over 1,000-pounds! It was very fat too. Seconds later that huge shark jumped back in the water and simply disappeared.”
Without saying a word Jacob fired up his outboard engine was soon navigating back to his Jacksonville home port!
“We certainly did not wish to have that Great White shark jump in our boat a second time as that recent encounter was very nerve shaking,” Jacob said. “What was really concerning is that there were several divers working offshore of Jacksonville as well, thankfully they were not harmed. That big shark did try to eat my boat though leaving several large teeth marks in my boat before leaping back into the water”!
In recent years Northeast Florida has been showcased during the winter months where great white sharks have frequently visited our coastal waters, just off our pristine beaches and inlets. NOAA tracks a variety of large sharks including great white sharks by installing a tracking device on the back of the shark and on one side of the dorsal fin. “Old Betsy” has been tracked right off our coast and was named after the first prototype Caterpillar diesel engine. Measuring 12-feet 7-inches “Old Betsy” presently weighs 1,400-pounds, was tagged on August 13, 2013 and has traveled a total of 9,021-miles. For more information on tagged shark tracking, visit www.osearch.com.