Are there really sharks near shore on Sanibel Island?
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
SANIBEL, Fla. - He came out of the water screaming ''shark, shark'', but is that what bit a teenager who was fishing Monday afternoon on Sanibel Island?
The correct answer probably is that no one will ever really know. But, are there sharks there? Yes! Most definitely, as you'll see here. If you're going there to swim or kayak the tourism folks probably don't want anyone to know about it. However, if you're going there to fish for sharks, well, that's a different matter.
"We ended up getting four sharks; one sandbar, a hammerhead and two bull sharks. They ranged anywhere from 5 1/2 feet to 7 1/2 feet in length, " said Bill Krysalka, who drives down from Ocala every summer with his son to fish for sharks.
Monday, a teenager was bitten by something. Witnesses say he came flying out of the water screaming 'shark' but never saw what bit him. However, he has seen the damage. His parents took pictures, and measurements, and they know people catch sharks right where he was fishing. "We usually get a handful of smaller sharks too but all the sharks we got were the bigger ones," added Krysalka. "We didn't even catch any small ones."
At Whitney's Bait and Tackle on Sanibel Island they have pictures of several sharks up to 10 feet long caught in the last couple of weeks. "A lot of people shark fish and we get a lot of fish up to 6, 8, 10 feet. When asked if sharks a problem, he said, "Well, sharks are here. The warmer the water we got more sharks and they tend to be a little bit bigger this summer."
An internet site has tracked the route of several sharks, all of which are almost 8 feet long to Southwest Florida. The research team tagged them off of Cape Cod in Massachussetts. It made it to Sanibel July 9th after swimming around Cayo Costa and Matlacha in June. Another showed the path of a shark over 8 foot that was in Cayo Costa a month ago. And a third tracked the path of an 8 1/2 footer that made it all the way into Pine Island Sound and Cayo Costa in June. Those are just the ones that have been tagged for observation. But people still get in the water and fish.
Some have speculated that it's the murky water causing all this but Whitney, who says he fishes 300 days a year, doesn't think so. "I don't think it matters a lot," he said. "It just seems the warmer the water there tends to be more sharks. During the summer time we get the bigger sharks."
It should be noted that the teenager who was bitten was using shrimp for bait and had them in his front pocket when he was bitten.