A great white makes its exit in Stockwell's video.
Yesterday round noon, Eric Stockwell of Loleta Eric's Guide Service was fishing alone at Cape Mendocino when he spotted and briefly filmed a great white shark swimming between him and the group of kayakers he'd paddled up to. If you want to know what one looks like close up in the wild, you can get a good look in the video he shot below. (Cover your delicate ears for the shark-induced F-bombs.) While the shark didn't harm anyone, it did make off with Stockwell's bait.
"I had something on [the line] and it was pulling and it didn't even feel like a very good fish," Stockwell says. When he looked down, he saw "something big and tan" maybe 20 feet below that he thought might be a halibut. But then it went some 30 to 50 feet out and came back closer to the surface. Then Stockwell realized it was a shark, not dinner, that had his bait. "It turned and broke my line," he says. "It came around one of the other guys ... it left him and that's when I got the video."
Stockwell, who takes people fishing and on interpretive tours in Shelter Cove and on the Eel, Mad, Klamath and Smith rivers, as well as doing "a little salmon survey work," has always wanted to get a shot of a great white. He says he knows lots of folks who'd been bumped or knocked off their kayaks and was thrilled to finally get a shot.
After the shark swam off, Stockwell and the other kayakers stayed to fish another half hour or so. "It didn't do anything aggressive ... we weren't too fazed by it," he says. "There were some pretty salty people out there."