Great white shark sighting prompts warning signs at Montaña de Oro

Warning signs were posted at all of the beach access points at Montaña de Oro on Thursday after a former commercial fisherman reported that a 15-foot great white shark had bumped into his kayak.

The man, a Los Osos resident, was fishing about 8:20 a.m., about three-fourths of a mile west of the south point of Spooner’s Cove, just outside the kelp bed, when he felt an aggressive bump near the back of his kayak, said Dale Kinney, a ranger at the State Parks Morro Bay Ranger Station.

The man looked down and saw the shark rubbing up against his kayak, Kinney said. Then the kayaker hit the shark with his paddle just below the dorsal fin.

The shark continued past the bow of the kayak, turned back and came along the right side of the kayak, Kinney said. The man splashed the water with his fishing rod to frighten the shark away, but lost sight of it as it went toward the back of the kayak.

“He yelled out ‘Whitey!’ to two other fisherman and paddled in to the beach as quickly as he could,” Kinney said.

The man estimated the shark was about the same length as his 15-foot kayak, Kinney said.

State Parks officials determined it to be a credible shark sighting based on the man’s description and his experience as a former commercial fisherman who has also been kayak fishing for about 23 years.

The warning signs were posted for 72 hours starting Thursday.

Cynthia Lambert: 805-781-7929, @ClambertSLO