Out-of-town teens make a catch to remember
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A group of teens fishing in South Florida knew they had something big on their hook, but they were not expecting what happened next.
A high school baseball team visiting South Florida from Georgia, needed to kill some time before a game Tuesday afternoon, so their parents chartered them a boat Tuesday morning.
They caught some mackerel, they caught some mahi ... and they caught a nearly 1,000-pound great white shark off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. "I wasn't expecting too much to be honest," said Logan Elliot.
It took the four teenagers two hours to pull the shark to the boat. Each teen took turns reeling it in. The boys on board were hooked up to the charter boat run by Captain Taco, out of Fort Lauderdale. "I don't think they really understood the magnitude of what had just happened," said Taco. "They were kind of in shock, and it was such a big fish. They didn't really understand how rare that is."
Shark experts said it's rare to see a great white shark in South Florida, much less catch one, but it's not impossible. "They are actually highly migratory," said shark researcher Sherry Tellman. "To be passing through in Florida does happen. It's very occasional, but it actually does happen."
It happened just last month in Jacksonville where a 14-foot great white shark weighing 2,000 pounds was spotted off the coast. She was tagged, so researchers could follow her movement.
Tuesday, the great white never made it into the boat. The two-hour fight nearly exhausted the young male, but he did put up quite a fight against half a baseball team. "It was a great experience," one of the team members said. "Once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing that. When I go fishing again I won't be as excited the way I was today, that's for sure."
The great white was released. They are endangered and protected, so it was put right back in the ocean.
Captain Taco has been doing it for 30 years and said that was easily the largest fish he has ever caught.
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