It’s a scene straight out of the movie Jaws, as a big mako shark repeatedly attacks the boat that he thinks is competing for his swordfish.
Matt Watson, of The Ultimate Fishing Show, and his friend Jeff are far out at sea fishing for swordfish. They hook a beast of a broadbill, only to have a big mako shark appear and claim the fish as its own as they bring their catch boatside.
A shark trying to steal an angler’s fish is not that unusual, but this mako takes it personally and begins attacking their small boat. At times the toothy predator comes right out of the water to chomp on the side of the boat, with Watson yelling orders to Jeff to strike the shark repeatedly with the gaff.
“Is that a white?” asks Watson, unsure if the shark is a great white or a mako. “I don’t know,” answers Jeff. “But it’s scaring the shit out of me.”
The shark returns to attack the boat again and again. “This is intense!” Watson mutters to no one in particular. Watson figures that the shark views the boat as a competitor for the prize. “And, well,” he answers his own theory, “he’s right.”
It took the two men some eleven hours to fight and land the massive swordfish. They’re already exhausted and dehydrated as they try to bring the big game fish in and battle the shark at the same time. Finally, by using the anchor winch, they’re able to boat the swordfish, which has lost a good deal of its original weight to the shark attack.
Watson reckoned their fish weighed around 700 pounds, and indicated that they used the it to feed over 100 friends and family.
This was Jeff’s first attempt to catch a swordfish. A fish that size is a magnificent accomplishment, but now he’s also got an even more dramatic story to go with the feat. It’s a story that would make Peter Benchley jealous.