Jake Gruse's 27th birthday will be one he'll never forget, thanks to a 500 pound mako shark that entertained him and his buddies, while they fished 30 miles southwest of St. Pete Beach in Florida on Saturday.
Jake described the incredible moments on his Instagram page.
The bite slowed. The boats around us left. The sun began to lower. The Amberjacks went down to their home. It was time to pull out the 300lb mono and drop down the 12/0. Within minutes we landed a small Goliath Grouper about 90lbs or so. I knew the big one was down there somewhere. Next We dropped down a big Jack. A few minutes later we hooked the monster. After a few minutes of an exhausting tug of war we had the Goliath Grouper boat side. When it came up it threw up a giant cloud of fish pieces. After a quick release Pablo Koch-Schick's flatline started screaming out of the back of the boat. After a long battle on light tackle a nice oBlack Fin Tuna was in the boat. The deck covered in blood. Ryan Hanks and I wanted to make sushi out of it. So I started bleeding the fish. After ten minutes or so and using up almost all of our freshwater on board. Twenty gallons of bloody water went out the back. All of a sudden a giant fin appears twenty feet behind the boat. It was a big shark. It was fun time! I immediately rigged up a whole bonita on the hand line with 300lb mono. I started dragging the Bonita across the surface making a commotion and a few minutes later the line goes tight. I try to get the Bonita back and the shark comes up beside the boat. Its mouth wide open showing it teeth smiling at me!! I looked right into this Mako's evil eyes! It was an awesome sight. I never thought I would see one around here. I immediately said,"Were going to get this monster!" I got my Bonita back from the Mako's jaws and threw it out on a circle hook. The shark instantly took the bait beside the boat! I knew it would be dangerous to set the hook into this fish boat side. So I just fed the Mako line as they got the anchor up. Then put the boat into gear and fight this monster. A minute later the Mako realizes he ate something wrong and flies 12ft in the air. Thats when we saw the size of it! After a couple jumps the hook was thrown and the shark moved on! This was the greatest most adrenaline pumping moment that I ever had in fishing. It was a great start to my 27th Birthday! The airtime those sharks get is unreal! Video footage will be out in a few weeks of this shark
His buddy Ryan Hanks was the one who captured it all on his GoPro.
"It was very surreal seeing a creature that big jump so high...it was a definite reality check for me."
The guys were catching monster fish left and right before the mako made his presence known. It was a moment they will never forget. Even boat captain Pablo Koch-Schick was in shock after coming face to face with this bad boy.
The guys eventually released the mako but have amazing 4K video proof of the their rare encounter. It's safe to say that Jake will never forget turning 27.
"My adrenaline was pumping, my heart was racing, the greatest fishing moment, the greatest birthday gift ever!"
Angler: Jake gruse @grusome_fishing
Film/photos: Ryan Hanks @ryanhanksfishingBoat
Captain: Pablo koch-schick @captain_pabloks
Charter company: @reel_coquina