TAMPA (970 WFLA) -- It's not the day to go for a long trip in the Gulf. Which is too bad, because you might see a rare sight.
According to a marine research organization called Ocearch, a great white shark has been spotted in the Gulf, about 75 miles west of Venice. Chairman Chris Fischer says the shark they call "Miss Costa" will probably stay offshore, unless there's food.
"If you have... a mullet run, or the tarpon gathering in Boca Grande, or any sort of snapper run, (great white sharks) will be on those big fish aggregations doing their job, which is to cull the weak, the dead and the dying," Fischer says.
Fischer says great white sharks like water temperatures of 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit. It's likely cooler temperatures helped encourage Miss Costa to move down the coast.
The 12-foot female was tagged off Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the fall of 2016. It's named for one of Ocearch's sponsors. Fischer says that since Miss Costa is about to reach mating age, her migrations could provide an important clue to the great white shark's life cycle.
Fischer says that out of all 30 or so sharks they've tagged in the past five years, only three... all females in Miss Costa's age cohort... have made it into the Gulf.
Photo and Video Courtesy Ocearch.