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Caught on tape: Fishermen fight off thresher shark

July 13, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Some local fishermen nearly turned out to be lunch for a hungry shark, and it was all caught on tape.

Scotty Westgaard and David Saldamando are self-described hard-core kayak anglers. They like to spend their weekends catching and releasing sharks in local waters.

They were reeling in an unknown catch off Santa Barbara's shoreline on Saturday, but when the fish got to the surface, the men realized it was an 8-foot thresher shark.

Instead of tossing it back into the water, they attempted a photo op, grabbing the shark by the tail and tried to hold it on their lap.

The shark wasn't having it and bucked, flipping one of the men into the water. For more than 30 minutes, Saldamando fought with his catch.

Surprisingly, he wasn't worried about getting bit.

"I was more worried about all my gear. I was afraid I lost a reel or rod. I forgot if I tied everything down, so to tell you the truth, I was terrified I lost a bunch of stuff," he said.

The fishermen weren't injured for the most part, and they released the shark.

Earlier in the day, they did catch a much smaller thresher shark, but it was a much more uneventful catch-and-release encounter.


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