Countless anglers have exclaimed that “the fish were jumping into the boat” when describing their fishing day, but Capt. Rob Gorta, of St. Petersburg, Florida, and his party of anglers have video proof to support their claim.
The group had just broken off a tarpon on Tampa Bay when they spotted a second, free-swimming tarpon launch into the air in an attempt to escape a pursuing hammerhead shark. As sometimes occurs with tarpon on-the-run, this one tried to use the boat as cover to dodge the predator. But when the shark got close, the tarpon again took to the air only to land on the rig’s rear deck. The fish quickly flipped itself back into the water and the chase resumed—ending badly for the tarpon it appears. But the anglers got to witness, first hand, the food chain working at the highest level.
It’s rare, but not unheard of, for a tarpon to board a fishing boat of its own accord, but it’s typically a hooked fish that breeches at boatside.