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WAIANAE (HawaiiNewsNow) - For a fisherman it's a great story. Addison Toki got away with his catch and without getting bit by the shark. Plus, he got pictures of a magnificent animal which is a true catch indeed.
It was a close encounter with what Toki says was a 15 foot great white shark. Toki was fishing with boat captain Dominick Gaballo about 5 miles off Yokohama Bay near Kaena Point. He had just pulled a 300 pound marlin into his boat when seconds later he saw the fin.
"We were just amazed by this huge animal circling our boat because the blood from the marlin was in the water and he looked hungry, he looked really hungry," said Toki. "I seen the shark turn sideways and he kind of flicked at the motor and tried to get a good bite on the motor."
He says they watched it circle for an hour before they came back to shore.
"This is definitely not a tiger shark and I would say there is a very good possibility it is a white shark," said John Naughton, shark expert.
Naughton says he can't be 100 percent sure since the pictures aren't taken from underwater, but the tail and nose are characteristic of a white shark.
Great whites are rare in Hawaii but there have been confirmed sightings such as an 18 foot female seen on New Year's Eve 2005.
Scientists aren't exactly sure why whites venture out this way, especially since there isn't the ample food source of seals like there are off the California and Mexico coasts. The likely reason is for the sharks to give birth.
"They're huge animals and can be quite dangerous but they are not actively looking for people to eat," said Naughton.
Toki says this is the second great white he's seen up close the last one was 18 years ago off Sunset Beach on the North Shore.