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Great White Encounters

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Aug 10, 2002
alright - so it finally has happened...for anyone familiar with san diego, particularly La Jolla, there is a beach/cove called the Childrens Pool right next to seal rock. the seal population exploded in the last few years, and the beach was overtaken by the seals. it was closed to human contact because of the amount of seals and their consequent excrement:hmm the worst part was so many groups, all with lame names like "friends of the seals" and such advocate protecting them, mostly for touristic reasons. the problem is that a) there are really too many b) the beach is closed (it was good for spearing) c) the seals are eating lots of fish and d) there isnt anything to prey on them....till NOW. an estimated 18 foot great white was spotted several times last week and once yesterday morning by lobster fisherman, and one of them even saw the shark rip a seal fetus out of the mothers womb and eat it. Now all you S.A., Aussie, and norcal spearos probably think im a pansy for being scared about this, but what would you do in an encounter with something this big? this thing is patrolling the areas i usually spear in. ive heard the "bang on the nose" theory but i dont think that would work so well. if i see this thing id shit my pants. no lie....what would happen if i sliced my shock cord with a knife and just fired a shaft into it? (and then swam away - i guess i only have to swim faster than my buddy!!!:D )
i'm with you

i am with you man. what the hell would ya do in a situation like that?! i mean i'm on the eastcoast and all we have are sandtigers where i fish and you can damn near keep those things as pets. although there was that kid 2 years back that got attacked by a tiger and died on one of the beaches i fish from. i was watching one of the Terry Maas videos and i saw a tiger, and to be honest i didnt think they got that big. this thing was a monster and i hope that big boy isnt in the waters that i fish. i'll tell ya that the water clarity in my area is sub-par and it would be easy for a shark to sneak up on me if it so pleased. i haven't given sharks much thought to be honest, i mean i have the utmost respect for them as they are the premier predator of the seas and they didn't get that way with dumb luck. so i guess its out of sight out of mind until ya feel that sandpaper brush up against your leg. then its high time to start thinking about what to do. keep your eyes peeled and you should keep your shorts clean.
More than likely you will never see the shark that gets you. And a spearo looks an awful lot like a seal! Either up on the surface or diving down to the bottom to fish...:(

If you see a GW then get the heck out! But their hunting technique doesnt include circling. Not when they are after seals. Unless its not sure what you are and wants to find out you won't see it.

Chance are the seals will overfish the area and die off naturally! Pity some of these "conservationist" don't have a clue about population management.:hmm
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I was down there spearing fish last weekend. Kinda scary, kinda cool. I have always wanted to see one in the water, course I would also like to live to be 20. There must be some people on this forum who have first hand experience. I've heard that you just have to act like a badass, stare them down, and charge them back if necessary and they will move on. I also am pretty sure they wont attack unless they can surprise you from below, course you would never know until they clamped down on you if it was interested. Stay in the near shore kelp i'd say where it's not too deep and you can see the bottom.
bluewater - thats the thing....i frequently swim out to the kelp offshore (almost 3/4 mile swim, maybe more)...the thing was sighted breaking water and attacking seals about a 1/2 mile out or closer "well inside the kelp beds"

if i see this thing in the water im dropping a dook in my wetsuit...

and shadow made a good point, our vis is at best, what, 25-30 feet? maybe 40 in the kelp. the chances of seeing it before it sees you are slim to none:hmm
yeah, I've seen the kelp out there but never had the balls to do it(no buddy, gets scary). That could definately put a damper on your diving.
Not as bad as it may seem .... normally

Great Whites (once again, in my overopinionated opinion) are big cats. If you know how to treat a normal house cat, you can apply the same knowledge to 'handling' sharks.

Ie - you know when a cat is going to pounce and scratch your hand .... right when you tickle it's belly, or if something runs away. One of the most stupid things to do with GW is to run away panicky.

Check it's pectoral fins - if they're straight out to the sides, 90 degrees to it's body, it's curious, just coming in for a look. If, however, they're pointing down, you're in for it. In my mind, they drop their fins to create a 'rudder' effect - ie they can turn quicker if they do this, and thus be more aggressive.

Like snakes, they've got more than one sign to look out for. Each one progresses on the previous one .... ok, ok, example time. A Puff Adder (Hemotoxic African snake) will emit a scent, reminiscent of curry as it's first sign. The second would be puffing up it's body. The third would be hissing, and the fourth and final would be coiling.

So, a shark (most sharks has the same patern) would firstly open it's gills to the max, as well as open their mouths slightly. This is to get a better scent from you. Then it would drop it's pec fins. Time to get real .... after this, it would hump it's back, bending it's body into a rough s shape. Time to pray.

If a Great White isn't too aggressive (ie bending it's back, swimming in jerky movements) it might be pushed off by keeping one hand, fingers towards the sharks back, on it's nose. Do NOT hit it. It does NOT work - and you can't pull a punch once thrown. So you might end up pushing your fist into it's throat .... erm, not a good idea.

Apply pressure to the shark, trying to angle it away from you. You won't be able to push it away from you, it's almost always bigger, stronger, faster than you. So you'd go backwards, being pushed by the shark, and you'd apply pressure to it to move it to the side ... if you're lucky, this would dissuade the shark. Firstly, it wouldn't taste anything. Secondly, it only senses a 'dead' peace of whatever - ie neoprene gloves. Also, not turning and running, it won't find you interesting enough to chase - unless you've got bleeding fish on your stringer (which should be on a float and not on your person in any case) Lastly it would encounter something that doens't actively provoke or resist it - thus it's not an enemy.

Kids, don't try this at home. This is my personal experience and observations, not scientifically proven whatsoever. If you're unsure, try and keep away from GW areas. Or any other known shark haunt for that matter.
Originally posted by LaJollaFreedvr
any ideas on what would happen if you shot a freeshaft into it?

Option 1: Get out of water, go home, lock all doors and windows, coil-up in fetal position and sob. After a few months you'll be back in the water and that nasty stain in your wettie is finally dry enough to scrape out..

Option 2: Shoot it, thereby pissing off over a tonne of perfectly designed aquatic killer....:hmm

Your choice!:D
Give it a big hug and a scratch behind the pectorals....

big kitty right SASpearo? My favorite Critters on this blue earth, but you wouldn't catch me treating one like a cat! :head

We were always taught Eye contact - not sure if it works or not, but I like to keep'em in view at all times.

never seen 21ft of fish though.... VERY Jealous!

Anyone looking for Bartender/Scuba instructor/slave? Will work for White Sharks....

Willer :D
When it come nearby, just throw few bloody fish this cat's mouth and caress it's head then let it go.:D rofl

It's like more to male lion, right? Which one is more scarry for you, fight with a lion as a blonde African or swim with GWS?:hmm
I love these topics

Wow - we don't get those things in th UK (or very, very rarely). I was in Oz a couple of years back freediving. I spent the whole time looking over my shoulder - I just couldn't get it out of my mind - especially knowing that sightings had been made recently.

I would apply these rules:

1) If you know there is one in there - don't get in.
2) If you see one - get out.
3) If it comes at you slowly, do as SASpearo says.
4) If it comes at you fast/aggressively - jump on its back, drive a spear through its minescule brain and ride it like a bucking bronco - you may as well have fun in your dying moments....

Though the bottom line here is that if its going to attack you, it is most likely that you will never see it - which goes back to point 1).

This is what nightmares are made of...

Ben (The shark fearing mammal)
Originally posted by Murat
Which one is more scarry for you, fight with a lion as a blonde African or swim with GWS?:hmm

Murat , you don't fight with lions ; you just get eaten .
If a GW is seriously interested in you : ditto .
Rather than "pushing it on the nose" I would recommend blocking it with a gun in the unlikely event of of encountering a geriatric shark with a dental defficiency .
In any other circumstances get Biblical and walk back to the boat ...:eek:
Originally posted by Abriapnea

Murat , you don't fight with lions ; you just get eaten .
If a GW is seriously interested in you : ditto .
Rather than "pushing it on the nose" I would recommend blocking it with a gun in the unlikely event of of encountering a geriatric shark with a dental defficiency .
In any other circumstances get Biblical and walk back to the boat ...:eek:

Who did write the blonde african guys are so special coz they fight with lions with bare hands? I think it was in Saspero's birthday thread.Anyway i just assumed you African boys are just thougher than me.I have small kitty and many straches on my hands:D .Approximatelly those male lions are just x100 bigger and stonger than my little sweety kitty.:D :head
I forget to tell my little kitty like rabbitfishes too:p .But she must suffice with guts till i learn to spear more fish :eek:
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