Watch: Huge 4.9m great white shark steals bait from fisherman

A group of US fishermen had a terrifyingly close encounter with a great white shark on Monday (local time) off the coast of New Jersey.

Much like a scene out of Jaws, the shark swam straight up to the boat and grabbed a bag of chum, or ground-up fish bait. 

Jeff Crilly, 31, who shared the footage to his Facebook page, claims the shark was "16 feet" in length (almost 4.9 metres) - almost half the size of his boat, the 'Big Nutz Required II'.

The shark was not hooked and swam off after stealing the bag of chum, footage shows.

"That is amazing, thank you for sharing this! Must have been quite an experience," one Facebook user commented on the video.

A number of people have voiced their concern over the bait bag, fearing that the shark will be harmed by digesting the plastic.

The video now has over 500,000 views and has been shared almost 3000 times.

The rare encounter took place around 48 kilometres off the coast of Manasquan, a New Jersey borough.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: