There were gunshots and there was blood as Rodney Atkins and his son Elijah had a frightening encounter with a 7-foot bull shark, a known maneater, at night off the Florida coast recently.
Rodney and Elijah had joined a guide on a nighttime fishing expedition in the Gulf of Mexico this past spring. At the most, father and son had hoped to catch a yard-long fish.
“We were fishing maybe 200 yards from the shore,” remembers Rodney, “and we caught a 7-and-a-half foot, 400-pound bull shark. I wound up fighting this thing for about two hours.”
When the giant predator finally surfaced into the beam of a search light, Rodney just remembers, “it was crazy. It was bigger than Shaquille O’Neal, man, it was a monster.”
Even the guide “freaked out,” said Rodney.
Rodney found it hard to keep his cool. “The guide’s talking about how, y’know, ‘This is a killer shark, this is a real man-eating shark’… ‘Oh, my God.’ And he pulls out a .22 pistol and starts firing, and blood squirtin’ up in the water. I’m goin’, ‘Oh, my God, what are we doin’ here?'”
There are no photos, and there is no trophy from their epic struggle. And there’s no way they could have brought it in, says Rodney–the boat wasn’t big enough.
“It was a trip, but I’ll never forget it, and I don’t think Elijah will.”
It’s a great story–listen to Rodney Atkins tell it himself on Y108.