Fish tale: Bald eagle dives to steal Florida man’s shark

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Fishermen constantly lament about the one that got away, but a Florida angler’s frustration this week was understandable.

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After waiting all day for a nibble, Chad Rissman and his uncle, Darrin Vick, were finally able to reel in a catch from the Dunedin Causeway, WTVT reported. Their elation at reeling in a shark was tempered when a bald eagle swooped in and snagged the catch for its own meal.

“We are just sitting there talking. The line got tight and slack,” Vick told the television station.

“I was reeling it in my uncle was going to grab the line,” Rissman told WTVT.

“As the leader is coming up, I said I’d get a hold of the shark,” Vick added.

That was when the bird of prey claimed the shark.

“The way everything lined up, the sunset; I couldn’t have asked for a better time,” Rissman told the television station.

The fishermen cut the line short and managed to get the hook away from the eagle.

“I think they did a really great job. It could have been a lot worse,” Kim Begay, an official with the Clearwater Audubon Society and Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, told WTVT.

Begay is familiar with the eagle. It is named Eugene and was rescued in 2017 after fracturing her leg, the television station reported.

“The first time she broke her leg she was in rehab for about eight months and she was in rehab at a very critical time when she would be learning how to hunt and following her parents’ hunt,” Begay told WTVT.

It looks as if Eugene has learned how to hunt -- and how to take advantage of an easy catch.