Zach Piller, 23, and his dad were fishing for striped bass and tuna off the Jersey Shore near Belmar, New Jersey, on Wednesday when they got the surprise of their lives, NBC News reported.
The first sign of the giant beast was churning water and a quickly rising school of panicked fish just off their 18-foot boat.
“Oh-oh,” Piller’s dad can be heard saying on the video shot by his son.
Then the whale surged from the ocean several feet straight into the air.
“Got that on video! Got that on video!” Zach Piller shouted. “What the fuck? What the fuck?”
Eric Otjen, vice president of zoological operations at SeaWorld San Diego, told NBC that humpback whales feeding on small fish near shore are not unusual — but breaching near a boat is rare.
“This whale just happened to chase bait fish right next to a boat,” he said. “You probably have a better chance of winning the lottery” than the whale popping up “where it popped up.”