Trying to catch striped bass in Cape Cod Bay these days? You might be competing with an incredibly powerful apex predator.
For the second time this week, a great white shark in Cape Cod Bay was spotted jumping out of the water to chomp on a striper that had been hooked on a fishing line.
As college student Braeden Voyticky reeled in the 40-plus inch striped bass in the bay off of Dennis, a 12-foot great white came up out of nowhere and grabbed the large fish.
“It was like watching a crocodile snap a wildebeest in half,” Joshua Martin, 51, who took his son and his son’s college friends out on the fishing trip on Sunday, told the Herald.
“It was the most powerful thing I’ve ever seen,” added Martin, who lives in Carmel, N.Y., and was on the Cape for vacation. “It happened so fast. It was just incredible.”
The striper’s head was all that remained after the shark enjoyed the meal, as those on board the charter boat “Prime Rate Sportfishing” were left in shock, wet from the shark splash, and with an unforgettable memory.
“It was quite an experience,” said Prime Rate captain Don Parker. “We had just gotten out there, and then boom, the shark did a cartwheel and flipped right over, and the fish was gone.
“There are definitely plenty of sharks around out there,” added Parker, who’s a full-time fire captain with the Harwich Fire Department.
Just a few days before this great white encounter in the bay off of Dennis, a shark was seen jumping out of the water and catching a striped bass on a fishing line. That shark sighting was reported off of Eastham in Cape Cod Bay.
Prime Rate charters leave out of Sesuit Harbor in Dennis, and the captain estimated that the boat was about 3.5 miles out from the harbor when the shark grabbed the striper.
“It’s not like we were way out in the middle of the bay,” Parker said.
Martin has been going out on charters with Parker for a few summers now, but nothing like this had ever happened.
“The shark didn’t attack like a missile,” Martin said. “It was like 2 or 3 feet out of the water, like parallel to the water. We saw the entire shark, and saw the bottom of its white tail. We could see its underbelly as it hit the water.
“We were all kind of in shock for a minute,” he added. “My son and his buddies were all fired up and excited. They were just freaking out… We’ll all never forget it.”
One other takeaway for both Martin and his son, Zach: They absolutely will not be jumping in the bay that far offshore after seeing how the large striped bass attracted the apex predator.
All along the Outer Cape, great white sharks during the summer and fall hunt seals close to shore. Beaches have been closed to swimming due to shark sightings and detections of tagged sharks.
This article by Rick Sobey was first published by Phys.org on 21 July 2023. Lead Image: Credit: CC0 Public Domain.
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