Georgia fishermen get friendly with giant shark

Robbie Cada
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 03:15 PM.

Three fishermen visiting from South Georgia shared a once in a lifetime experience two weeks ago when they filmed the biggest one that got away ever.

Joe Bendis, who along with Brad Riner and Wendell Stone are frequent visitors to Franklin County, said he housesits a trailer in Lanark Village and frequently brings down his 25-foot fishing boat, the Celestial Crab, to spend time on the water with family and friend.

On Sept. 29, Bendis, Stone and Riner were about 30 miles offshore and Bendis was struggling to unhook a shark without losing a finger when Riner told him a whale shark had come to the back of the boat.

At first, Bendis thought it was a joke.

“I never expected to see a whale shark,” he said. “It’s a first for all of us. It was very surprising.”

The big fish remained nearby as Bendis succeeded in unhooking his catch and all three men rushed to the stern to view the rare creature.

But it submerged fairly quickly, and .because their cell phones were stowed in a waterproof bag, none of the men got pictures of the monster fish, Bendis said.

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