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Rodney Atkins, Son Elijah Wrestle With Seven-Foot Bull Shark

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Although it’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel this week, Rodney Atkins and his son, 10-year-old Elijah, may not bother watching any of the special programming. They don’t really need to, either, after their too-close-for-comfort encounter with a seven-foot bull shark off the Florida coast one night last spring.

“We were fishing maybe 200 yards from the shore,” Rodney tells Pittsburgh radio station Y108. “And we caught a seven-and-a-half foot, 400-pound bull shark. I wound up fighting this thing for about two hours.”

Rodney adds that once the known man-eater finally surfaced and he got a look at it, “it was crazy. It was bigger than Shaquille O’Neal, man. It was a monster.”

Rodney admits the whole experience freaked him out a bit, even though the father and son, who were fishing for a couple of hours before the real adventure began, had an experienced guide with them.

“Elijah tried to reel it in for a little while. He gave it a good 15-20 minutes … I wound up fightin’ this thing for about two hours. The guide who we were with, who fishes like that all the time, he even freaked out when this thing came up.”

Once they put a light on the shark to see what it was they were battling, Rodney noted, “This is a killer shark, this is a real man-eating shark … and he (the guide) pulls out a .22 pistol and starts firing, and blood is squirtin’ up in the water. I’m going, ‘Oh, my God, what are we doin’ here?’”

Although they were unable to capture any photos of the shark, Rodney acknowledges, “It was a trip, but I’ll never forget it, and I don’t think Elijah will.”

Watch Rodney Atkins’ ‘He’s Mine’ Video
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