Watch: Fishermen Witness Shark Feeding Frenzy off Florida Coast

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The captain almost needed a new trolling motor after this trip

Sandbar sharks fight over a hooked red snapper.

The sandbar sharks erupted into a feeding frenzy after one bit into the red snapper on the fisherman’s line. Photograph by Fin and Fly Charters

A Florida charter captain recently found himself in the middle of a shark feeding frenzy while snapper fishing with some clients near Cape Canaveral. He caught the whole episode on video and shared it to Instagram on Feb. 26.

The captain, Jamie Glasner, owns Fin and Fly Charters in Cocoa Beach, and he’s had plenty of experience dealing with the “tax man” — a term that saltwater anglers use for a shark that steals an angler’s catch off their line. But on this trip, Glasner and his clients were surrounded by tax men. The sharks got so worked up that they started biting each other and attacking his trolling motor.  

“What was different about this situation is when your fish gets eaten, it can be any depth down below the boat. This time it happened as we were reeling it out,” Glasner told Florida Today. “The shark jumps out and suddenly all the other sharks come out and started a frenzy on the surface. Some sharks were getting bit by other sharks.”

The clip begins as one of the anglers on Glasner’s boat reels in a big red snapper. Glasner, who’s already started filming with his phone, can see the shark trying to eat the hooked snapper below the surface.

“Pull, pull, pull, pull!” Glasner tells the fisherman. “Don’t let him get him! Don’t let him get him! He’s coming … go, go, go!”

By the time the angler gets the snapper to the surface, however, the tax man has already taken his cut. The angler lifts the half-eaten snapper out of the water, and the shark jumps after it with open jaws, missing the fish by an inch. When the angler drops the snapper back toward the water’s surface (at the captain’s instruction), another shark suddenly appears. And then another. And then another. One of the sharks gets a good hold on the fish, snapping the angler’s line, and that’s when the chaos really begins.

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Only 10 or 15 feet off Glasner’s port-side bow, the water erupts into a churning froth as the pod of six or more sharks fight over the half-eaten snapper. When one of the sharks swims off with the fish, a few of the other sharks turn their attention to Glasner’s trolling motor and attack it. Sharks will attack anything that moves or vibrates when they’re worked up into a feeding frenzy, Glasner explained to reporters.

“Dude, they’re attacking each other! They’re attacking the trolling motor!” Glasner yells. “This is insane.”

Glasner clarifies in the comment section that they’re all sandbar sharks. These sharks are common in coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, but they’re currently under federal protections that prohibit harvest and require recreational anglers to release them if caught.



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