The sharks have picked up a clever strategy to snag an easy meal from passing fishermen. 

By Elisabeth Sherman
Updated August 02, 2017
Alastair Pollock Photography / Getty Images

Fishermen in Boston are struggling against a formidable enemy that is stealing their catches straight out of their nets: great white sharks.

One such fishermen, named Jake Smith, who was searching for striper in a popular fishing spot near Cape Code Bay, had a close encounter with a hungry shark who took advantage of his catch to grab an easy meal.

“It was so fast,” Smith told the Boston Globe. “It bit it like it cut it in half with a knife, just a very clean, fast bite.”

Smith had been fighting to haul in the 30-pound striper all night when the shark leap out of the water and stole half of it in just one quick moment. Smith says he’s heard several of his compatriots report similar incidents in the same area.

Another man, fishing with his son, said he reeled in his catch only to find that all that was left was the fish’s head; the shark had gobbled up the rest as he pulled it in.

“We know white sharks are in the Bay, and there have been a lot of reports of them this season, so none of this is surprising to us,” Cynthia Wigren, president of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy told the Boston Globe.

She offered no advice on how to ward off shards from stealing your hard earned dinner if you happen to be fishing in the Boston area any time soon. In fact, she seems to think the pictures the conservancy receives of bass torn in half by the free-loading sharks are “pretty cool.”

People think that sharks frequent the Boston coast for the seal that live there, but they’ve clearly learned there is such a thing as a free lunch if you can catch a hardworking fisherman off his guard. The sharks might catch the ire of those fishermen, but the strategy is basically foolproof—nobody would dare to dive in after a great white shark to demand their fish back.