MARGATE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Some fishermen got more than they bargained for during a trip off the Jersey Shore — they spotted a great white shark.
It was the thrill of a lifetime for a boatload of recreational fishermen when they came face to face with a juvenile great white.
“It was amazing. It was really a kind of life changing experience,” Jennifer Schreiber told CBS2’s Cleve Bryan.
On Sunday afternoon, Schreiber and her husband took some friends and their teenage children out to go shark fishing. Heading from the Seaview Marina in Longport to an offshore reef they came across an enormous school of bait fish about three miles off of Margate.
It wasn’t long after they dropped their lines that company arrived.
They weren’t certain that it was a great white, but since it’s a protected species they pulled their lines and took out their cameras.
“It was particularly amazing because he was really checking us out. He was as interested in us as we were in him,” Schreiber said.
She posted video on social media and got the suggestion to report the shark to the Massachusetts Shark Research Program which has a great white database.
They confirmed it was a great white, and based on the marking it was one that had never been reported before. That meant the crew got the right to name it.
A.J., 19, was the first one to identify the shark picked the name Carlos.
“I don’t know. We said ‘what’s his name?’ And that was the first name that came out of A.J.’s mouth,” Schreiber said.
Shark experts estimate that there are several thousand great whites off the east coast and it’s not unusual to see juveniles close to the shore.
The sharks are small, eat mostly fish that live close to the bottom, and don’t pose a serious threat to swimmers.
Experts said if you think you see a great white in the ocean don’t try to reel it in to your boat. Instead, take a lot of pictures, report it, and maybe you’ll get to name your own great white shark.