An annual fishing trip turned into a once-in-a-lifetime event as a hammerhead shark nabbed a hooked tuna as anglers shouted in amazement.
A phone company gathered some of its clients from across the country in Point Loma on Friday, September 6 for a weekend of fishing.
The group of 14 set sail on the Searcher, a 95-foot-long sport fishing boat that’s stationed out of Fisherman’s Landing.
Over the next three days, the group sailed to the region southwest of the Coronado Islands and back, answering the question, “What’s west of San Diego?”
Tim Schatz was one of the fishers aboard the Searcher on Sunday when a small shark decided to join in the fun.
“That was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen,” Schatz told NBC 7.
Fellow angler Steve Sawtell was reeling in a 20-pound yellowfin tuna at around 7 a.m. when Jaws Jr. approached.
The hammerhead swam up for a nibble before circling back around and stealing the fish for good.
“It was an amazing view of nature to be able to see something that close. It’s what happens out in the ocean every day,” Schatz said.
The group aboard the boat had their cameras out recording the moment, shouting, “Sorry, Steve!”
Schatz said he was “very surprised” but there was “no fear at all” on the boat. The hammerhead shark was estimated to be between 6 and 7 feet long.
This trip marked Schatz’ fourth year with the group, but he said it was the first time he’s ever seen something like this.
“It was a lot of fun,” he told NBC 7.
Though, two years ago, Schatz recalled someone reeling in two-thirds of a fish with an obvious bite mark in it – but no shark in sight.
The 14 anglers, ranging from beginners to pros, returned early Monday morning with one less fish but a lot more memories.
To learn more about the Searcher, visit its website.