Fishing charters become rare, close encounters with whale sharks

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MADEIRA BEACH, Florida – People aboard a Madeira Beach private fishing charter have an incredible story.

Last week while on a fishing trip with Hubbard’s Marinaa whale shark was sighted. That’s not unusual, but what it did is.

David Singletar

“It’s very rare that they come to us and hang out. And the thing hung out. It was like we were at SeaWorld. The boys said they’d never seen anything like it before,” said Capt. Dylan Hubbard, owner and vice president of Hubbard’s Marina.

The whale shark is an endangered species. They’re highly protected, so you’re not allowed to interact with them, but Hubbard said the shark wouldn’t leave the side of the boat.

“It took about 30 minutes before we finally had to maneuver the ship away from the whale shark. It was ready to spend the day with us. It hung upside down by the boat, came up and looked at the boat, got its head out of the water,” Hubbard said.

The shark sighting happened between 15 and 18 miles offshore.

“This clean, clear water with this full moon bringing in lots of seaweed lured this whale shark closer to shore and allowed us to spot it,” Hubbard said.

The shark was about the length of the 40-foot boat they were in. Despite its size, the whale shark poses no threat to humans.

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