Great whites are one of the ocean’s undisputed apex predators, and their populations are ballooning to unprecedented numbers in waters off the coast of Massachusetts. An unidentified fisherman got to see one of the impressive sharks in action recently when it engulfed a striped bass that he was reeling in while fishing in Cape Cod Bay.
The angler reported the shark sighting on a popular mobile app called Sharktivity. The app was developed by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC)—with help from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, the Cape Cod National Seashore, and officials from the towns of Cape Cod and South Shore, Massachusetts—to keep tabs on the growing numbers of white sharks that call the area home.
“White shark jumped and caught our striped bass on the line,” the angler wrote in the Sharktivity post above a photo of a shark in midair—presumably munching on his catch. The incident was reported at 4:58 p.m. on July 12.
July is popular time to spot the sharks in Massachusetts waters. Researchers with AWSC estimate that some 600 great whites now call Cape Cod home, namely from June through October, before they migrate towards Florida for the winter season.
There have been several reports on the Sharktivity app of anglers encountering white sharks in the waters off Cape Cod this month. On July 19, at 3:48 p.m., an app user reported that “an eight foot great white shark approached my boat while I was fishing, turned and gradually swam away.” On July 5, a user posted a photo of a bent rod and a hooked striper just inches from what the app lists as a “confirmed great white.”
While great white sharks are becoming more common off Cape Cod and the Massachusetts coast in general, reports of anglers losing hooked-fish to the notorious predators is nothing new in the area. A quick Youtube search turns up a handful of videos of white sharks claiming stripers and other game fish. Check some of them out for yourself below.