A Utah man thought he was reeling in the perfect catch — but a bald eagle had plans of its own.
The bird swooped down and snatched a shark from Chad Rissman’s line while he was fishing with his family Nov. 19 off the Dunedin Causeway in Florida, according to a TikTok video.
“We are just sitting there talking,” Rissman’s uncle Darrin Vick told WTVT. “The line got tight and slack.”
Rissman and his uncle thought they were reeling in a fish, but to their surprise it was a small shark, WFLA reported.
The men edged closer to the shoreline to cut the shark loose before an eagle flew down and snatched it, the TikTok video shows.
@amandarnhot When you snag a Shark & the Eagle takes the prize! #fishing #fishinglife #fisherman #clearwaterflorida #clearwaterbeach #florida #floridaman ♬ Fishing in the Dark - Goldfield Ghost Town
“The way everything lined up, the sunset; I couldn’t have asked for a better time,” Rissman told WTVT.
Florida has about 1,500 bald eagle nesting pairs, making it “one of the densest concentrations of nesting bald eagles in the lower 48 states,” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Bald eagles tend to gather around “several significant lake, river, and coastal systems throughout the state,” the commission said.
The federal agency has been monitoring them in Florida since 1972.
McClatchy News reached out to the Clearwater Audubon Society in Florida on Nov. 22 about the eagle that snatched the shark but has not heard back.
The Dunedin Causeway is about 25 miles northwest of Tampa.