Great White Shark Caught In Panama City Beach Surf

The shark was tagged and then released by the amateur anglers that landed it.

Three fishermen caught and released a great white shark from the surf at Panama City Beach this weekend. This is believed to be the first instance of a land-caught white shark along the Gulf Coast.

Derrick Keeny, Gabriel Smeby and Kyle Register, who together comprise the fishing team “Dark Side Sharkers,” had their lines out in the early hours of Sunday morning under cover of darkness when the white shark struck, according to AL.com. The shark, described as an adolescent male, was hooked on Keeny’s line around 3:15 a.m., precipitating a 45-minute-long fight that ended when the great white was brought onto the sand.

“It just kind of looked like a big dusky (shark) at first,” Smeby recalled. “We couldn’t really tell because we were without lights for the most part. We had a couple of flashlights, but that’s about it. Then it kind of rolled sideways in the surf and we realized it was a white shark.”

The great white measured nine feet, eight-inches-long, WJHG reports, and was tagged by the group before they moved it back into the water. Smeby retrieved a digital camera to document the white shark as the group passed water over the predator’s gills in order to revive it. The trio were stunned by the animal’s calm demeanor, and Smeby observed that the white shark acted particularly docile while the anglers were tagging it.

“Most of the time sharks will thrash around. This one just kind of sat there. It’s almost like the shark knew what it was doing, like it knew it wasn’t really in any danger.”

Last December, a great white shark was caught from the surf in the Outer Banks region of North Carolina. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the shark was believed to be the first great white ever landed from a shoreline along the Eastern Seaboard.

The Dark Side Sharkers have participated in the National Marine Fisheries Services shark tagging program for years. The initiative enlists recreational fishermen to tag and release sharks, so data may be collected from the animals in an effort to better understand the species. Smeby noted that the particular tackle and tactics used by the fishermen were intentionally employed to reduce the amount of stress the sharks, even a great white, experience during a catch.

[Image: Dark Side Sharkers via AL.com]