A Massachusetts man hooked a great white shark while fishing on a Cape Cod beach – but the apex predator got away seconds later, startling video shows.
Footage posted to Instagram shows the shark – estimated to be about 12 feet long — thrashing about 50 yards off the beach as it likely stole a fish off the line cast from the shore by Matt Pieciak at about noon Sunday on Nauset Beach.
“It’s a shark, oh my god!” one woman said of Pieciak’s unexpected snag. “You caught a shark? Are you serious?!”
Pieciak, 25, of Orleans, told the Boston Globe he believes a large fish took the mackerel he used as bait on the line before the shark briefly latched on.
“It was just the food chain: fish took bait, shark took fish,” Pieciak recalled, adding that he had hoped to catch a bluefish or a bass.
But the shark “took off” as soon as Pieciak applied pressure on the line, he said.
“What’s crazy about this was how close to the beach it was,” Pieciak continued. “People had been surfing there, I had been surfing there that day and the day before. We spent the whole week surfing right where that happened.”
A spokesperson for the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy – which tracks the predatory animals off Cape Cod – confirmed that the video showed a great white, the Globe reported.
Pieciak’s cousin, Maggie Ciarcia, captured the frightening encounter during a family get-together, she told Storyful.
“My uncle and cousin decided to put a couple fishing rods in the water and left them in the sand while we were playing cornhole,” Ciarcia said. “All of a sudden one started rattling and we thought he got a fish so I started filming.”
Ciarcia said she’s glad she sprang into action.
“Pretty cool all around, glad I got it on video,” Ciarcia said.
Pieciak said on the clip the shark spit out the line after chomping onto the fish that he believes initially took his bait.
“I said ‘Dude, hold my beer,’ and grabbed the rod,” Pieciak recalled telling his cousin, Cal. “And it all kind of happened quickly from there.”
Despite the brush with the great white not far from shore, he told the Globe that beachgoers need not worry about them as long as they’re cautious in the water.
“I think being aware of them is the biggest thing,” Pieciak told the Globe.