HomeOutdoorsViralLOOK: 13-Foot Great White Shark Caught and Released on Florida Beach

LOOK: 13-Foot Great White Shark Caught and Released on Florida Beach

by Caitlin Berard
Great White Shark Off the Coast of Florida
(Photo by Allan Davey via Getty Images)

A professional shark fisherman recently reeled in an astounding catch while fishing off a Florida beach – a great white shark stretching an estimated 13 feet in length, the enormous sea creature shocking both the fishermen on the scene and countless social media users alike.

The incident occurred on February 12, when John McLean, a charter boat captain and owner of Big John Shark Fishing Adventures, Pensacola’s only land-based shark fishing charter, was fishing with a group of clients. During the 24-hour charter, the group of Florida fishermen reeled in the mammoth great white shark before releasing it back into the sea.

Rather than venturing out into the open ocean, McLean and his clients fished from Pensacola Beach, making the catch all the more impressive. Casting their lines directly from the shore, they successfully hooked a shark. None of them, however, were prepared for just how large it would be.

“I was not targeting great white sharks, I was attempting to catch my clients the largest shark possible,” the Florida angler told Fox News. “It is very rare to catch a great white in this area, especially from the Gulf Coast.”

Great white sharks are prohibited fishing species, meaning the Florida anglers had to release their prize immediately. The entire scene was caught on video, however, forever cementing their jaw-dropping feat in the fishing history books.

How the Florida Anglers Caught the Enormous Great White Shark

Catching a great white shark from shore is a rare occurrence, even in Florida. So, how did this group of anglers manage to do so?

Well, charter Captain David Miller first paddled a small one-person kayak about 900 yards off the beach. Once in the open ocean, he dropped a gigantic tuna head into the water, hoping to attract some sharks. If their plan worked, they would likely score a large catch, as only a giant shark would be large enough to fit the entire tuna head in its mouth.

The fish head was so large, in fact, that Miller had to paddle it out to sea by hand. It was too large for McLean’s usual RC boat.

As it turns out, Miller’s extra effort paid off. He had barely made it back to shore when something heavy took the bait. From there, the fishermen launched into an all-out battle against the colossal sea creature on the end of the line.

“My fishing gear was pushed to the limits. But it was up to the task to effectively reel in this massive white shark,” McLean said. “Since I used proper equipment, we were able to make a quick release. Shark fishing and conservation starts with using the right gear.”

It took every ounce of effort from all four anglers, as well as the charter captains, and just over an hour’s time, but they eventually pulled the great white shark to the Florida shore. “This fish is the strongest fish I’ve ever had,” McLean explained in a subsequent YouTube video. “It’s the only time I’ve seen my fishing gear pushed to the absolute limit.”