Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water a great white shark has been spotted off Indian Rocks Beach. No this is no mythical monster bent on revenge but a real live Carcharodon carcharias that will swallow you whole.

Great white sharks regularly turn up off our coast in the winter months. They are often caught by longline fishing boats, but the catches sometimes go unreported for a pair of jaws from this protected species will fetch a high price on the black market.

These apex predators sometime come close to shore as Tom Kane found out Tuesday while he was pulling stone crab traps in 25 feet of water. The Indian Rocks Beach captain and and his mate, Mike Whipple, were about six miles offshore when they spotted something following their boat.

“We had about 500 pounds of mullet on board to use as bait,” Kane said. “At first we thought it was a dolphin then it swam under the boat and we could see it was a shark….a big shark.”

Kane, a veteran skipper is not awed easily, said the shark measured 10 to 12 feet and weighed between 800 and 1,000 pounds. Kane got a good look at the beast when he turned his boat around and followed the fish.

“It circled back and came right up to the boat,” he said. “We could see the under belly. It was white.”

“Tom Kane of T-Kat Charters  for grouper, kingfish and whatever else is biting. Check out his website at T-Kat or call (727) 460-7029”

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