Watch a Fisherman Lose a 180 Pound Tarpon to Massive Shark

Written by Katie Melynn Wood
Updated: October 19, 2023
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It’s not every day that a fisherman has to compete directly with a giant shark.

ABC Action News reported on just such a thing. In the video, a fisherman loses his big catch to a shark that snatches it right out of his hands.

The fisherman was running a fishing charter excursion near Anna Maria Island on Florida’s Gulf Coast. After catching a large Tarpon, he went through his standard steps to get the fish onboard. When a giant hammerhead shark came up, everyone was taken by surprise.

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Watch Below as a Hammerhead Steals a Fish From a Fisherman’s Hands

“I grabbed it with my hands like I always do for a picture,” he said. “And all of a sudden, a monster Hammerhead just took it right out of my hands. It was just amazing. I couldn’t believe it was happening.”

Rob Gorta was the Captain of the charter boat. Holding the fish by the mouth, he kept it in the water as people crowded around to take photos. The tarpon was around 180 pounds and Florida law required that it remain in the water due to its size. Fishing charters are common on Florida’s Gulf Coast, with people coming from all around the country to fish the waters with experienced Captains like Gorta.

Fortunately, the other people onboard were ready with cameras. They thought they were getting a photo or video of the giant fish. When the shark came up, they were able to get even more rare footage.

Unfortunately for the fish, by the time Gorta got it unhooked, the shark had done its damage.

“I really felt bad for the fish,” said Gorta. “They’re an amazing fish and I make a good living off of them. They’re a lot of fun and I have the utmost respect for them.”

At the end of the day, the shark got a meal and swam off into the ocean with the tarpon.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Sail Far Dive Deep/

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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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