(NEW YORK) — For Captain Joe Maisano of Treasure Island, Fla., and fishermen Fab Marchese of Ontario, Canada, it seemed like it would be just another day out on the water, but that quickly changed when then two fishermen spotted a rare great white shark.
Maisano, 26, was about 30 miles off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico Friday when he noticed what looked like a great white shark.
“I have seen Jaws enough times to know what they look like,” said Maisano. “It just smelled the blood in the water, because we have been sitting there for several hours and he just wanted to come up and get some food.”
Joe Maisano and his father Sam have owned the fishing charter company Go Fast Fishing Charters for the past 12 years, but neither of them had ever seen a great white before.
“It looked like a submarine. With a tail,” said Maisano. Maisano told ABC News that he first spotted the great white 10 minutes before he alerted everyone else on the boat.
Maisano began throwing more bait into the water to lure the shark in closer. Marchese then threw out a baited fishing line, which hooked the shark within 20 minutes.
“Well we hooked in a 350-pound goliath grouper earlier, and you cannot compare that fight with the great white,” said Marchese.
The fishermen pulled up the boat’s anchor and then let the great white drag the boat around for the next three hours.
“It was like a slow steady pull, I mean great whites are not very fast sharks, so it was a slow, solid weight,” Maisano said. “He was anywhere from 16-18 feet [long] and it could have weighed from 2,500-4,000 pounds. That is what the experts are telling us.”
Sighting of these sharks are very rare. “I had one of my buddies about five or six years ago, who caught one on a long line and that was the last one I know about, that was caught along here,” said Maisano.
The fishermen said they had to let the shark go because they are a prohibited species. “You are not even allowed to bring it in the boat, you have to leave it in the water,” Maisano said. If a great white is killed, there could be a fine of $25,000-$40,000.
The two men did not release the beast until they snapped plenty of photos and video of their monstrous catch.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jordan Fischer, Scott Wegener, WCPO
Paul R. La Monica, CNN