Fab Marchese headed out with Captain Joe Maisano with Go Fast Fishing Charters in Treasure Island.
About four hours into the trip, "the big mama showed up and wanted to play", said Maisano. He said he saw a flash of the shark's big teeth for just a second, adding: "Only a couple species of sharks get that big. Great hammerheads, tiger sharks, and the great whites are the only three that will get up there that big."
They were 30 miles off shore and looking for all sorts of big fish when the great white turned up. At around 18ft, it was more than half the size of their boat.
The shark bit onto the steel hook, and Marchese held onto it for over three hours, according to My Fox Tampa Bay.
He'd been fishing since he was five, and wasn't about to let go. He said: "I wanted to see it right up close. I'm hanging on to this thing no matter what."
Marchese added: "Yeah, this is like a dream come true basically. You never think something like this is going to happen. It's just like, how am I going to top this now?"
Great white sharks are a protected species, so after the three-hour tussle, Marchese let the animal go. According to ksn.com, Maisano said: "We just let him take the whole rig. We just cut it off."
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