- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A group of Panama City fishermen became the first ever Sunday to reel in a great white shark from the Gulf of Mexico while standing on dry land.

Derrick Keeny and his friends experienced the catch of a lifetime Sunday morning when they set out for some shark fishing along the beach.

“I’m still blown away by it. Lost for words,” Mr. Keeny told a local Fox affiliate.

The fisherman said he and his friends spent an hour reeling the nearly 10-foot-long shark into shore.

“We were up and down, over and around on sandbars,” Gabriel Smeby said. “We get up there close, and all we see is a big, grey back and a dorsal fin.”

“It turned sideways in the surf, and it dawned on me what it was,” he said. “It was a great white, and I hollered back to them. From there on, it was pretty much controlled chaos.”

The men, who are part of a group called Dark Side Sharkers, brought the fish to shore, tagged it and then released it back into the Gulf of Mexico, the station reported.

They became the first known fishermen to ever catch a great white from the Gulf while standing on dry land, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials said Tuesday.

The group said the shark was very calm during the encounter.

“Luckily, this was an extremely tame shark,” Mr. Smeby said.

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