Local fishermen reel in whopping 12-foot long Tiger shark in Jacksonville Beach waters

Fishermen caught what’s believed to be a 12-foot Tiger shark off the coast of Jacksonville Beach.

A weekend fishing trip for Owen Prior and his friends led to the catch of a beast of a shark. It happened this past weekend. Prior said they went fishing near the Jacksonville Beach Pier about 400 yards out.

“One of my friends hear the reel going, and they were like, ‘Yo Own, you’re on,’” Prior explained.

He said it took about 20 minutes to bring the shark. He said he knew it was heavy, but he didn’t realize what it was at first.

“Every step closer I took, she got bigger,” he said. “You come across like that not that often, but they’re out there.”

It should be noted that the FWC classifies Tiger sharks as a prohibited species. FWC says that anglers may catch and release prohibited shark species in state waters, but they aren’t allowed to target and land prohibited species.

Prior said he doesn’t believe the shark was hurt by the way it was hooked, and his catch was released back into the ocean. Prior has caught sharks in the past, and he maintained that he didn’t target his catch last weekend.

“We weren’t targeting that shark. It just happened to eat the bait. It’s the same bait for every shark. You never know what it’s going to eat,” said Prior. “Technically, you’re not allowed to take a photo with it. I don’t necessarily regret it, but that experience and photo I’ll remember forever. It’s something I’ll tell my grandchildren one day. I definitely got caught up in the moment a little bit.”

Action News Jax told you back in April when OCEARCH researchers started a new expedition to learn about how Great White sharks behave in spring and summer. The expedition left Jacksonville on April 1 and ended in Charleston on April 21. The goal of the expedition was to find when and where Great Whites mate.

Right now, you can track sharks on the OCEARCH website. If you look closely, you’ll see that some of the blue dots are moving, which means the transmitter on the shark recently pinged. The yellow dots you see are trackers attached to alligators and the green dots in South Florida are turtles.

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