Hilton Head Island’s Great White Shark Whisperer has been watching Shark Week since its premiere in 1988, when he was in middle school.
But this year, Shark Week will be different for Chip Michalove — South Carolina’s’ famous charter captain makes an appearance on two episodes of wildly popular Discovery Channel series.
Tomorrow’s episode “Sharkadelic Summer 2” — premiering Thursday at 9 p.m — will be narrated by Snoop Dogg.
“Never would’ve imagined in my life this kid from Kentucky that grew up chasing frogs would be on that show, with Snoop narrating,” Michalove told FITSNews.
Michalove has caught, tagged, and released over 30 great whites for scientific research.
He said he’s had opportunities to be featured on Shark Week before, but he hesitated in fear that he’d share a secret that might end up hurting the species.
“You take a film crew and scientists just one time, and they’ll know exactly everything that took me years to figure out in one day,” Chip Michalove said.
In fact, Michalove spent decades studying the species to earn his title of “Great White Shark Whisperer.”
For 12 straight winters, Michalove attempted to a catch a great white shark off the coast of Hilton Head Island. Before Michalove came around, fishermen really didn’t even think about attempting to catch great whites off the coast of South Carolina.
For years, he was made fun of by the other local fishermen who said Chip was on a “great white goose chase” trying to catch a creature they weren’t sure was out there.
Until one January day in 2014 — Chip Michalove caught his first great white shark. And then days later, another monstrous shark tugged the line. And pretty soon, Michalove emerged as one of the only fishermen on the East Coast to successfully and consistently catch great white sharks on rod-and-reel.
The rest was history.
“These great white sharks have changed my life,” Michalove said.
Michalove said the Discovery Channel filmed him for the show in February and early March — and he wasn’t sure what was going to happen.
There are no guarantees with catching great white sharks in South Carolina.
Michalove said just seeing one in South Carolina is “like finding a needle in a field of haystacks.”
“They’re just not concentrated to one area like they are in other parts of the world,” Michalove said. “They’re spread out. Occasionally, we get lucky and get multiple in one day, like that one day we caught lightning in a bottle and hooked 7, but then we’ll go out for a month and not even see one.”
Michalove was fortunate to catch a lucky break when Shark Week film crews visited Hilton Head this winter.
Michalove and the crew saw more than 25 great whites while the Discovery Channel was filming on Hilton Head.
Those once-in-a-lifetime moments will be shown on Shark Week Thursday (July 15th) at 7 p.m. on the Discovery Channel. You can also catch him on another episode Wednesday (July 14th) at 7 p.m.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR..
Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your tips to [email protected].
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