Florida Keys

Watch a great white shark take a bite from an angler’s chum bag in the Keys

Great white shark takes bite out of bait bag

A large great white shark took a few bites from a Florida Keys fisherman’s chum bag this week. Great whites do not frequent the Keys, nor do they typically hang out off the South Florida island chain, but they are known to pass by.
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A large great white shark took a few bites from a Florida Keys fisherman’s chum bag this week. Great whites do not frequent the Keys, nor do they typically hang out off the South Florida island chain, but they are known to pass by.

A large great white shark made a rare appearance in the Florida Keys this week to grab a free snack from a commercial fisherman’s chum bag hanging off the back of his boat.

The shark — which the captain of the boat, Carter Bates, estimates to be 15 to 16 feet long — was in about 75 feet of water off Summerland Key in the Lower Keys on Tuesday when it grabbed on to the netted bag of fish parts.

Great whites don’t typically hang out in the Keys, but they do pass by on their way to their regular haunts, and clearly bring their appetites.

Footage of the large, what is thought to be female, shark, was shot by Bates’ girlfriend, Suzy Trumbo, who works on his commercial fishing boat, Big Daddy.

“I’ve certainly never seen anything like this before,” Trumbo, 44, said of the great white. She said she’s been working on the boat for about two years.

Bates, 37, who’s been fishing commercially for about 10 years and is also a backcountry fly fishing guide, said they were fishing for yellowtail snapper that morning. The shark was circling the 36-foot boat for about three hours before finally sinking its teeth into the 100-pound block of chum in the bag around 12:45 p.m.

Bates said the shark didn’t seem to want anything to do with the snapper they were catching.

“It only wanted the chum block,” he said.

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