While returning from a four hour trip on the Emerald Spirit on August 12, 2009, we came upon a rare site. A Whale Shark easing along with seemingly no cares in the world. He had around 30-40 juvenile Cobia swimming around him. I spotted the Shark and announced over the P.A. system to the customers that there was a Whale Shark off the port side and every one rushed over to see as I slowed the boat down and approached with caution as to not spook the fish. We pulled along side and I quickly reached for my camera. It was as if he knew we wanted to look at him and take pictures. He simply laid there almost motionless, every once and a while swishing his tail to keep moving ever so slowly as sharks have to do to breath.
Whale Sharks are Plankton feeders and skim through the water for small minnows and other microscopic organisms. This is the time of year that we have lots of little red minnows that swarm in huge schools along our coast. Every thing feeds on them from King Mackerel, Red fish, Spanish Mackerel, Blue Runners, Bonito and Sea Gulls just to mention a few. It was a rare treat to see this fish that day because he was only around 10 miles off the beach. Normally they are known for living far offshore in the extremely clear Blue Water of the Gulf Stream usually located 40 or 50 miles out. However, we have been blessed with some real clean water lately all the way up to the beach. The Wahoo are starting to bite good again with this good water flow. The Whale shark was sighted a few more times by some of the other boats in the following days of our sighting. Maybe he’ll stay around for a while.