A 48-pound boy caught a 100-pound sandbar shark last week on Captiva Island.
“When the fight was over, I was screaming, running on the beach,” Steele Floyd, 8, of Sanibel Island told WINK-Channel 11.
Steele made the catch within about 10 minutes last Wednesday with a little help from his father, Captain C.J. Floyd of Catchin’ Jiants Charter of Captiva Island, after hooking it from a boat. Steele finished the catch from shore, though, due to the shark’s size.
His father said that the shark was released unharmed within 30 seconds. They even took another, old hook out of its mouth. The family uses only circle hooks, removing the barb, and takes other measures to follow responsible fishing practices.
Steele has been fishing since he was practically an infant, said his mother Trisha, who used to go fishing with baby Steele strapped to her.
Steele has caught other sharks in the past, including nurse sharks, hammerheads and other types.
Sandbar sharks can grow up to 8 feet long, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They have interdorsal ridges and short, round snouts and are typically found at depths of 60 to 200 feet.
The sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus) is one of 27 species than cannot be harvested in Florida. If caught, they must be released immediately without harm, FWC regulations specify.
Florida put new fishing regulations into place last summer, including new rules for catching sharks. People 16 and older now need a special permit for shark fishing from shore and must take a course. Those younger than 16 don’t need a permit, but must must take a course or be with someone who has.