A commercial fisherman was able to capture the encounter with a 25-foot long basking shark on video.
Experts said these sharks eat plankton and krill, and despite their size, aren't typically dangerous to humans. They said seeing one in the warm gulf waters off Panama City Beach is extremely rare.
"I would do it again in a heartbeat," said kayaker Josh Reeves. "The chance came up and I knew that it was a harmless shark, so get in there and try to see how close I could get."
Basking sharks are usually found in much colder waters.