A New York City fisherman caught a baby great white shark less than a mile off Rockaway Beach in Queens on Sunday — and spotted an adult one while he was out there.
Steve Fernandez told WNBC-TV that he hooked the 80-pound great white about an hour after he saw an adult great white — which he estimated to be 10 feet long and to weigh 800 to 900 pounds — circle his boat.
“I’ve never had one right in front of my face on the boat,” Fernandez said. “It was awesome.”
It took Fernandez and his friends 15 minutes to reel in the baby great white, tag it, and cut it loose.
"I'm trying, bro," Fernandez can be heard saying in a video of the angler's brief struggle.
His catch came just a day after a great white shark circled a New Jersey fisherman's boat off Cape May before grabbing chum off the deck.
“It was humbling that it was, in my opinion, the baddest fish in the ocean, and we saw it a mile away from where everybody swims,” Fernandez said.
Bad reputation aside, great white shark attacks are rare. According to the University of Florida, there have been just 106 unprovoked great white shark attacks — 13 of them fatal — in U.S. waters since 1916.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the great white shark population in the Atlantic has rebounded in recent years thanks to seal conservation efforts.