Large great white shark swims very close to Florida Keys fishermen

Neighbors Don Gates and Angie Gonder, who are used to deep sea fishing and tagging Mahi for research, were about 23 miles offshore Cudjoe Key on Monday.

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – Neighbors Don Gates and Angie Gonder, who are used to deep sea fishing and tagging Mahi for research, were about 23 miles offshore Cudjoe Key on Monday.

They first spotted a log in the water, which was likely to attract fish and bait.

But then they saw something else close to the surface: what they believe was a 20-foot-long great white shark.

“I stood up on the side of the boat to look at the fish, and when I did, I saw the great white shark start cruising toward the boat,” Gates said.

“I’m thinking, ‘oh, I’ve got to get my camera,’” Gonder recalled. “So we forget about the fishing, right? We gotta get these pictures.”

Video from Gates’ GoPro camera shows the massive creature swimming near their boat.

“I think it was total awe that we could see something and it was so peaceful and so quiet - just gliding through the water,” Gates said.

Sharks are apex predators, and scientists say they play an important role in marine ecosystems.

Research shows great whites have been spotted off coast of South Florida.


About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.