They say the chances of being attacked by a shark are very small. I think they must be right, since when I was a young man stationed at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Fla, I became addicted to sharkfishing. I and a friend of mine used to go to Clearwater beach on weekend nights before I ever owned a boat. I had a huge Penn Senator 16/0 reel on a deep sea Ugly stick.
That reel held a half-mile of 130-lb test line. No way you're casting a big, bloody, 10-pound hunk of cut bait more than 5 feet with that thing! My buddy would hold my rod while I swam (yes, SWAM!) my bait out a couple hundred yards, then when I got back, I would hold his rod while he swam his bait out. It was after dark when we were doing this! Talk about spooky!
We caught 8 - 10 foot bull sharks pretty regularly. They never bothered us when we were swimming our bait out, but looking back on it, I sure wouldn't do it now.
A couple years later, I was stationed on Diego Garcia, a small island right on the equator smack in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The water was crystal-clear...and beautiful. Often while snorkeling I would wind up over a half-mile from the beach in 50 feet of water. The coral reefs, the six-foot barracudas, the fantastic abundance of life was intoxicating...but the waters were shark-infested.
The first time a 10 or 12 foot oceanic whitetip reef shark comes and circles around you while it's checking you out (can I eat that?) it really freaks you out and you don't go back in the water for a week. You can see its eye, looking back at you while you're watching it. Pretty scary the first time or two, and you never do really get used to it.
But I never had any trouble...even when there was blood everywhere, once when a friend tried to follow me down to 60 feet. He didn't know how to equalize the pressure and burst an eardrum. We were in 60 feet of water and over a half-mile out.
No, sharks don't consider us a normal part of their menu.
If they did, I wouldn't be here.