Great White Sharks Are In Martha’s Vineyard, Says Angler With Stunning Past

A fisherman who may be able to legitimately claim the title of the world’s “Most Interesting Angler” has revealed his encounters with great white sharks off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, amid stories of an unusual life at sea.

Captain Buddy Vanderhoop has accommodated a diverse array of passengers, including Keith Richards and ex-presidents, according to the Telegraph. Setting out from a mooring that stands opposite the brief home of Quint’s workshop, Vanderhoop is able to take guests fishing either in local waters around the Vineyard, or to the edge of the continental shelf, where whales and sharks are regularly sighted.

Vanderhoop is no stranger to the white sharks that he says now populate the region. He spots the sharks regularly as the great whites move into the area each year, drawn by a population of seals that number near 5,000. The animals, welcome prey for the sharks, live on the uninhabited Noman’s Land island, just a few miles off the coast, as the Inquisitr previously reported.

“Oh they’re here all right… I see one or two every year. Pulled up next to a 20 footer near Noman’s Land recently, just floated there feeding on a dead whale, its black eye studying me. A few years ago some surfers I know saw two great whites off Menemsha beach…”

The captain also has some experience with a mechanical version of the great white shark, oddly enough. By his telling, Vanderhoop’s brother was charged with towing Bruce, the iconic shark star of the movie Jaws, to the film’s set from its warehouse each day during production, four decades ago. The tale is just one of Vanderhoop’s unusual sea stories, which include his fight against the “Perfect Storm” that claimed the Andrea Gail, and are enough to turn the ear of any visitor to the coast.

While speaking to the Telegraph‘s Richard Waters, Vanderhoop revealed a seemingly unbelievable connection to an iconic tale of the ocean, retrieving a “yellowed tooth the size of a wrestler’s thumb” from his pocket as evidence.

“This belonged to my great uncle Amos Smalley,” he told Waters. “He harpooned the great white whale Melville wrote about in Moby Dick.”

While the white shark population has rebounded in the Atlantic in recent years, the predators have also become easier for observers to track, thanks to the efforts of Ocearch. As Cape Cod Today notes, several great whites have been tagged by the organization in the region, and can be readily followed online.

With Captain Buddy Vanderhoop in the harbor, however, the great white sharks seem to have competition as the most interesting denizens of the ocean off Martha’s Vineyard.

[Photo by Mario Tama / Getty Images]