To be a great white shark, it goes without saying that size is an issue. Yet the undisputed bad boy great white shark at Isla De Guadalupe isn’t that big. But what he lacks in size he makes up in attitude. He’s Shredder, the King of Great Whites and the baddest boy on the block in the shark community off Southern California.
Some folks might take issue with that. And I’m not a marine biologist. My only claim to knowing this 11 footer with a “shredded” dorsal fin is that I dove with him back in 2007. But true to his reputation, he never failed to make an appearance each day – usually multiple – and while some sharks were shy and kept a cautious distance, Shredder always approached the cage, in his sharky way of saying hello, and was always the first shark to take a run at the tuna bait.
The shark diving community knows him intimately, along with the other estimated 120 or so great whites that make the annual migration to the small island off Baja California. And it remains a mystery where they, and Shredder, spend the first six months of the year, though there’s some speculation that they winter in a vast area between Hawaii and the west coast called “The White Shark Cafe”.
There are many, many reasons to go shark cage diving in California. And if you have the privilege of doing so from San Diego, you’ll likely end up at Guadalupe (260 miles south), you’ll more than likely encounter our feisty friend, who made his initial acquaintance to the guys on the Islander (the boat I went diving with) by biting through the anchor cable. Everything worked out fine, of course, that was just Shredder introducing himself ;).
Shredder is my absolute favorite great white shark at Isla De Guadalupe (sorry Bruce!). And this one’s for Shredder, for all he does, and just for being the coolest shark on Earth.
**Editor’s Note** December 23, 2019 – Sadly, Shredder has not been seen since 2011. Maybe the Universe will smile on us and he’ll come back again** 🦈🦈🦈