NEWBURYPORT, Mass. — Veteran recreational fisherman Al Montello got a Jaws-like jolt recently when a great white shark slammed his boat so hard it shuddered, then snatched a bluefish from his fishing line.
"It all happened very quickly," he told the Newburyport Daily News. "But no doubt in my mind what it was."
Montello said at the time he was fishing for blues where the Merrimack River joins the Atlantic Ocean in this northeast Massachusetts coastal community.
He described the shark as 14 feet long, and between 4 and 6 feet in height. He said the shark attacked the bluefish like a torpedo, missing it the first time but devouring it after striking Montello's 20-foot boat and turning around for another strike.
Montello said it was the first time he's seen a shark in 50 years of fishing.
"It definitely was an adrenaline rush," said Montello. "I can tell you that."
Great white shark spottings were reported earlier this summer off the coast of Cape Cod 60 miles south of here. A swimmer was attacked there July 30, suffering deep leg bites.
Marine experts said great white sharks are not commonly found in Massachusetts waters even though the popular movie "Jaws" that featured a deadly one was filmed in the state.
They said a growing seal population is likely responsible for the great whites' northerly migration. Seals are their favorite food.
Details for this story were provided by the Newburyport, Mass., Daily News.