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A party of sport fishermen had a rare brush with a huge great white shark off the coast of New Jersey Monday. In an encounter that was very similar to a scene from the 1976 blockbuster "Jaws," the shark came right up to the stern of the boat and grabbed a bag of grounded up fish bait called chum.
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NEPTUNE, N.J. – A party of sport fishermen had a rare brush with a huge great white shark Monday.
In an encounter that was very similar to a scene from the 1975 blockbuster "Jaws," the shark came right up to the stern of the boat and grabbed a bag of ground up fish bait called chum.
The once-in-a-lifetime experience was caught on video and has shark researchers buzzing.
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"We've fished for sharks a lot and never seen anything like that. We were amazed by how big it was," said captain Jeff Crilly, owner of Big Nutz Required II, a 31-foot Bertram sport boat.
East Coast sharks:
Crilly, 31, estimates the shark's length was more than half the size of the boat, or 16 to 18 feet.
"It was harder to guess the weight because we had nothing to compare it to, but it was probably about 2,000 pounds," Crilly said.
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A group of fishermen had a close encounter with a great white shark who swam up to a boat and stole a bag of chum off the coast of New Jersey on Monday. The dramatic video posted to social media shows a massive great white swim up against the stern of a
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Crilly and a five-man crew were participating in a mako shark tournament and had several types of bait in the water as attractants, including the body of a small tuna drifting on a rope and the chum.
The shark was not hooked and, after stealing the bag of bait, swam off on its own power and vanished, Crilly said. The encounter lasted a couple of minutes.
They were positioned about 30 miles southeast of Manasquan Inlet in Manasquan, N.J., in an area with a water depth of 110 feet, home of the wreck of the R.P. Resor, an oil tanker that was torpedoed in 1942 during World War II.
On board was Ray Kerico, Sean Smida, Steve Minkena and Kevin Schellar.
Crilly, an experienced captain, has won several local shark fishing competitions.
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Great white shark attacks fishermen ’s chum bag during fishing competition off New Jersey coast.(Credit: Captain Crilly Team BNR). The five Toms River fishermen were about 30 miles from the shore and nearing the end of a 13-hour day at sea, but the sight of a shark certainly woke them up.
Fishermen off the coast of New Jersey encountered a 16-foot great white shark that swam up to their boat. For more CNN videos, visit our site at
The length of the shark is the same as social media sensation, a great white shark that weighed 3,500 pounds in 2012 when researchers put a satellite tag on her.
Mary Lee's satellite tag went silent in June 2017 when she was just miles from Beach Haven, but the shark-tracking organization OCEARCH that tagged her believe she's still alive.
Great white sharks:
While great white shark populations are on the rise on the East Coast, marine experts said Crilly's encounter is still rare.
"As the population continues to rebound, of course, these chance encounters could increase. This is still a very rare encounter off New Jersey for this elusive fish," said Melissa Michaelson, a volunteer at the Shark Research Institute in Princeton, where she helps verify shark bite incidents.
Michaelson said the shark could be a mature female shark that could be here to pup. The New York/New Jersey bight, an underwater indentation along the Atlantic coast, has long been theorized to be a nursery for great white sharks.
Follow Dan Radel on Twitter: @danielradelapp
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press:
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