PHOTO: 12 Year Old is Now ‘Hooked for Life’ After Catching Shark at New Jersey Beach

by Jon D. B.

The New Jersey boy’s latest catch isn’t just the biggest of his young life, but also a rare shark hardly seen outside the deep ocean.

“Catch and release sandbar shark by my 12 yr old son,” posts Matthew Hagy to his Facebook. The angling Hagys would make quite the splash with it, too. Specifically, Matthew’s son, Cole, who had “hooked something big.”

Matthew Hagy was starting his day with a cup of coffee off New Jersey Beach when his son, Connor, ran straight for him. Connor’s sibling, Cole, had something bigreal big – on his line.

Hagy tells Fox News he arrived to the scene to see a crowd watching his 12-year-old son in awe. Cole caught himself a shark! The biggest catch of his life so far.

“REEL BIG FISH: A 12-year-old is now “hooked for life” on fishing after nabbing a shark at a New Jersey beach. What a proud father…” posts the trade’s official Instagram. Within, they share the Hagy’s triumphant shots of their catch and release:

“I hope this was a catch and release, good work!” a top Fox News follower comments. As we know, this is exactly the case! This should put the dozens of other angry commenters at ease, whose “Put it back in the water” and “why is killing a baby shark news,” etc, show they did not bother to read the actual story!

12-Year-Old Catches Rare Sandbar Shark

Speaking further to Fox News, dad Matthew Hagy explains that his sons went out to fish with friends the morning of July 17. His boys love to fish, and Cole has “caught smaller sand sharks before.”

But this, he continues, “was something special.”

Special, indeed. Cole caught a sandbar shark – a species rarely seen outside of deeper oceanic waters. Moreover, it “is the biggest fish Cole has ever caught,” his father says.

Hagy does say that Cole “once hooked another large fish during a trip to North Carolina, but the fish swam under the boat and broke the line,” per the outlet. They’re still unsure of what they might have caught – but chances are slim it’d be as exciting as bringing up a sandbar shark.

With the crowd watching, Cole brought in his prized catch, took some photos with his brother and their friends (above), and then released the young shark back from whence it came. The Hagys are a catch & release family.

The whole experience now has Cole “hooked for life,” his father says.

As for sandbar sharks, the species is rarely seen anywhere near the ocean surface. According to the Georgia Aquarium, they live at depths of 60-200 feet below sea level, which makes catching one from the beach a truly rare experience.

Way to go, Cole!