Last week, angler and YouTuber Rodney Pacitti was fishing off Australia’s Gold Coast in a 15-foot boat when he filmed a hair-raising encounter with one of the ocean’s most formidable predators. The dramatic footage—part of a 40-minute video Pacitti posted on his YouTube channel on Friday, June 2—shows a giant great white shark approach and then circle the fisherman’s tiny vessel several times before disappearing into the ocean. See it for yourself below.
“(Let’s) see if we can find something a bit bigger and exciting,” Pacitti says to the camera after catching a livewell full of baitfish. “Oh sh*t,” he suddenly exclaims at the 12:45 mark of the video. “Look at the size of this shark under me. Wow! He’s as big as my boat.”
Pacitti first captured the huge shark with the bullet camera attached to his chest. Then he set up a pole camera to get a wide-angle shot that shows the monster circling his boat. Later, as the shark swims within a few yards of the starboard side, he removes the bullet camera from its harness and dips it into the water for a close-up of the massive shark, which sported a number of scars on its side and had a few remoras in tow.
The roughly 15-foot shark prowled around Pacitti’s boat for about fifteen minutes, even briefly examining the bait on his line, before swimming away.
Contrary to movie-lore, sharks prefer to ambush rather than circle their prey. Circling behavior typically indicates curiosity. Great whites must continually move forward to keep oxygen-rich water flowing over their gills.
Pacitti, who goes by the social media name RoKKiT KiT on his YouTube channel, describes himself as “just an average guy that loves the ocean and outdoors.” Later in the video, which had amassed more than 400,000 views as of June 5, he catches two mahi mahi and a wahoo. In the video caption, he said it was “possibly the most amazing fishing day ever.”