'Monster' Hammerhead Shark Steals Fish From Florida Man: 'He Just Took it Out of My Hand!'

A Florida fisherman had quite a shock when a large hammerhead shark stole his catch in a fascinating encounter that was captured on video.

Rob Gorta—an experienced fishing guide who works in the Tampa Bay Area—had just reeled a huge 180-pound tarpon fish to the surface in the waters off Anna Maria Island and was holding onto it with his hands in order to take a picture when the shark pounced.

"All of a sudden a monster hammerhead just took it right out of my hands. It was amazing. I couldn't believe it was happening," Gorta told WFTS. "Just came right out of nowhere and ripped the fish out of my hands. We are all in awe, we didn't know what to do." He told WFLA, "Obviously it was the most intense moment of my life."

Gorta estimated that the shark measured somewhere between 13 and 14 feet in length and weighed around 1,300 pounds.

In the video clip—which Gorta shot on a GoPro and posted online on Thursday—the fin of the hammerhead can be seen approaching the fish just before the attack. A dramatic tug-of-war then ensues between the fisherman and the shark, with the hammerhead eventually claiming the prize.

During the encounter, Gorta can be heard shouting, "He just took it out of my hand!"

Gorta said that he tried to unhook the tarpon fish in order to give it a chance to escape from the shark, but ultimately the shark had its meal.

"I really felt bad for the fish, you know. They are an amazing fish, and I make a good living off of them," Gorta told WFTS. "They are a lot of fun, and I have the utmost respect for them. There's nothing I could really do to save that fish."

He noted that the fish had bite marks on it when he reeled it in, indicating that the hammerhead shark had already tried to attack.

Gorta explained that there were two reasons he didn't pull the fish up onto the boat when he had it in his hands.

"I did not bring the tarpon aboard because one, the fish is so large you don't want to risk getting knocked in the water obviously with a large shark swimming around the boat," he told WFLA. "And two, any tarpon over 40 inches must remain in the water. So it's against Florida law to bring a tarpon on a boat over 40 inches."

In 2013, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee ruled that tarpon fish should be catch-and-release only, Fox News reported.

Gorta said he's never witnessed an incident like this before, although he has seen tarpon fish jump into his boat after being chased by sharks.

"I still think about it. Every day we talked about it. I show it and brag about it to everyone I know," Gorta said. "I am very fortunate to make my living on the water and capture some amazing videos. When you are on the water every day, you see a lot of crazy stuff."

hammerhead shark
Stock photo: A hammerhead shark. iStock
'Monster' Hammerhead Shark Steals Fish From Florida Man: 'He Just Took it Out of My Hand!' | U.S.