WATCH: Whale shark swims up to boat off Florida coast

A group of fishermen were treated to a beautiful sight when a whale shark swam up to their boat off the coast of Clearwater Beach. 

Captain John Phillipoff with Caladesi Fishing Charters told FOX 35 News they were out on the water when the whale shark came right next to their boat. 

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"We started out the day on a high note and came across a beautiful 20’ plus whale shark who hung out and let us get some awesome pictures!" the company wrote on Instagram. 

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Captain Phillipoff says the whale shark was about 25 to 30 feet long. He says whale sharks can usually be spotted around this time of year. 

According to the World Wildlife Federation, whale sharks are the largest shark and are protected from fishing in many countries these days, but are in decline in some areas. Whale sharks feed on plankton and travel large distances to find enough food to sustain their huge size.  

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