Friday, August 1, 2008

White sharks in the Merrimack River?

Well this is the last day I am writing about sharks for awhile. I found this interesting story about a large shark that was spotted in the mouth of the Merrimack, in Newburyport. This happened about a year ago.

Chris Santarelli thinks he knows why the bluefish weren’t biting Wednesday.

Fishing about a mile outside the mouth of Merrimack River — near the large red buoy designated MR — Santarelli said he saw the biggest fish in his three decades of fishing, a marine creature he said reminded him of the movie “Jaws.”

“It was the biggest thing I’ve ever seen,” he said. “It was as big as my boat. I am almost sure it was a great white.

“There is a ton of bluefish around, and I’m sure that is why it is around. It was right where we’ve been catching blue fish for days, and there were none there.”

Santarelli, of Rowley, said the shark was at least 15 feet long and “the diameter of a 50-gallon drum.”

When it swam past the boat, “I saw the fin; it was 2 feet out of the water,” he said.

He said the shark was dark on top and light-colored underneath.

“I fish almost every other day, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “It was like right out of ‘Jaws,’ it was that big. It was so big, I just wanted to get out of there.

“This thing was humongous. It looked just like the one hanging at Hudson’s (marine shop in Salisbury).”

The local report comes after officials on Cape Cod issued shark warnings in recent days following the discovery of two seal carcasses that washed up on the beaches there, likely the result of great white shark attacks.

Newburyport is right on the border of Salisbury Mass and the New Hampshire beaches. The Merrimack is a very large river and we all know that river mouths are favorite hunting spots for Whites and other sharks. Fishing is excellent in the Merrimack, too; the Beast wades out onto the sandbars there every year for Stripers and Bluefish. Lots to eat there.



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