Uncommon Shark Sightings in Gulf

Last month, I posted news of a mako shark caught in Gulf waters well off the coast of Sarasota, FL and juvenile tiger sharks encountered in near shore waters off the same area. Not rare, by any stretch, but welcome signs. Lately, tiger sharks have been a little on the few and far between side here in SW Florida, compared to 20 or so years ago. A white shark was also rumored to have taken a speared Amberjack off the east coast of Florida earlier in the year.

Last Friday, then again yesterday, one of our tournament anglers phoned in a few pics of a species of shark he's been encountering over the last week off SW Florida. They were positively identified as finetooth sharks. In discussing them with Dr. Bob Hueter of Mote's Center for Shark Research, they are uncommon here, unlike the northern Gulf and off the southeast Atlantic coast.

Bob also tipped me off to what is indeed a rare sighting of a basking shark ... basking off a pier in Panama City, FL. Apparently, its been 30 years since another, larger basking shark was seen in the Gulf. In this case, there was a lucky kayaker close by. Talk about being in the right place at the right time.

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