California’s beaches are known for surfers, muscle boys, and bikinis, but at Camp Pendleton north of San Diego, a US Marine had a much more unforgettable experience on the shore. Jeff Fangman released a video this week of a catch that most fishermen can only dream of. The video shows Fangman reeling in a juvenile man-eating great white shark onto the beach as he struggled with the beast in the surf.
The Marine had not shared his elation beyond a circle of friends until now. The shark was caught on October 27 under overcast skies and measured approximately 10 feet long. While small for a white shark, it is still a dangerous predator. White sharks enjoy eating the many sea lions and sea otters along the coast, but are known to take an occasional human swimmer.
Fangman released the shark since it is a protected species under Federal law.
He came to live in California after having resided on the Gulf of Mexico where he was also an avid sportsman. Witnessing the catch was his wife and daughter. Fangman had gone into the sea in a kayak in order to deliver his bait far beyond the normal range of his heavy tackle. He expected to hook a small shark or a stingray, but had not anticipated pulling in an apex predator.
In the Gulf of Mexico, he had had experience catching other species such as bull sharks and tiger sharks, but had never pulled in anything so monstrous.
It is not often that great white sharks are caught on a rod and reel, even though commercial fishermen along the coast of southern California some times catch them in gill nets.
Fangman was cognizant that great white sharks are a protected species. By releasing it, he avoided the investigation that ensued when a sport fisherman at Huntington Beach pier near Los Angeles hauled in a great white. He was ultimately fined by California authorities. In another case, when a marine biologist threatened to call police when he witnessed another sportsman hauling in a great white shark. That shark was released.