Fishermen hook large shark near Marco Island

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
(Photo provided to WINK News from fishermen)

Video shared with us shows the moments when a group of fishermen caught a large shark in the Gulf near Marco Island.

The four fishermen who snagged the big fish told us they go every Friday. This time, they were on the hunt for one specific type of shark: the Great white shark.

“Catching the Great white shark is the equivalent to winning the lottery,” fisherman Frank Manziano said.

It’s the catch of every fisherman’s dream.

“When I was a little kid, someone had a great white mounted over the fireplace,” fisherman Frank Pappas said. “And I always looked at that and imagined, ‘What if I could ever catch a great white.’”

The group went out Friday with the hope of catching this “unicorn of the ocean.”

“I texted them this morning,” fisherman Michael Abruzzese said. “I went on Ocearch and texted them as a joke: ‘There’s three sharks out there. Let’s go hunting.’”

Turns out, they thought they’d hooked one. About 10 miles offshore in 35-foot-deep water, the reel started to take off.

Credit: shared with WINK News.

“Once we saw the big shadow, the shark broke water,” fisherman Kevin Smith said. “We were like, ‘Oh, my God, that looks like a great white.’”

The four friends said there was no way they could have reeled it in alone. They took turns for 45 minutes before the rod snapped and then the shark swam away.

Although it has not yet been confirmed that the shark is, in fact, a Great white, there were some tracked, Great whites that had recently pinged in the area.

But even so, the fishermen agree it was the experience of a lifetime.

“This is something that will tie us together for the rest of our lives because it’s something we will probably never do again,” Manziano said.

To track tagged sharks in your area, visit

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