YouTuber and self-described kayak fishing fanatic Rich Janitschek won’t soon forget this shark encounter in the Florida Keys. Janitschek’s chosen destination in the Niles Channel proved to be rich in tarpon, yellow jack and grouper until a thrashing shark nearly flipped his kayak before swimming away with his catch. So much for grilling breakfast!
Cue the kayak fishing shark encounter
Part two of a five-part series, the video opens as Janitschek seeks a sheltered spot to kayak fish in windy conditions. He sets up shop near the footings of the derelict Niles Channel Bridge, an old railway span circa 1912 that was converted first to vehicular traffic in 1938 and more recently to recreational use for hiking, cycling and fishing. In 2011 a portion of the bridge collapsed and the span was closed to the public, leaving Janitschek with no competition in these rich fishing grounds—except for his unexpected guest.
The bull shark arrives around the 11:10 mark, suddenly surfacing and jostling the boat before making off with a hooked grouper. Janitschek is stunned, remarking after he cuts the line that he needs to change his shorts. Despite having practiced flipping his fishing boat beforehand—as all kayak anglers should—Janitschek frankly admits that the presence of a large and active shark complicates things.
Persistence pays off in the end
New shorts or no, the angler isn’t easily scared off as he declares his intention to keep casting. In friendlier water he eventually lands a tasty snapper to grill on the beach, ensuring that neither shark nor human will go home hungry. For more of Janitschek’s kayak fishing adventures check out his FishAholic Fishing YouTube channel.