NAPLES, Fla.- A Naples man out fishing in the ocean with a friend got the scare of a lifetime last week.
It was early Thursday morning when John Zeliff and his friend headed out to fish near wiggins pass in Naples.
It wasn't long before a barracuda chomped down on the bait, and attempted to swim away.
"It went away so fast I figured it would jump away from the boat or keep going," Zeliff said.
But instead, the fish hooked around... back at him.
"The next thing you know it was like a missile coming out of the water straight at me. I couldn't even move and it was just on me," Zeliff continued.
The barracuda was moving with so much force it jumped clear off the other side of the boat.. but not before causing a bone-deep gash on Zeliff's left forearm.
"It bit me and flew off the other side and I just told my buddy I've been bit I've been bit," he recalled.
Tthat's when his friend jumped into action, tying a tourniquet around his arm. He then called 9-1-1 while driving the boat back to shore.
"I was staying on the phone with the lady trying to get help to us as soon as possible but it was hard because they didn't have our coordinates so we had to just keep going," said his friend John Ordan.
Doctors told Zeliff tendons in his forearm had been severed, requiring surgery and therapy over the next several weeks.
Until then, he doesn't have use of his fingers on his left hand.
But he says he won't let what he calls an unlucky encounter keep him from angling again.
"I'll go fishing again but it will be in shore for a while. I'm not going off shore for a little bit," he laughed.
Zeliff will have surgery on Thursday.