18-Year-Old Reels in 8-Foot Nurse Shark in Florida After Epic Tussle

An 18-year-old from Georgia spent hours reeling in a nurse shark on a beach in Naples, Florida, before releasing it back to the water, footage shared to YouTube on July 2 shows.

Ryan Swanson was holidaying in Florida’s southwest with his family when they decided to do a spot of late-night fishing.

Footage of the catch was shot by Ryan’s brother, Reed, as well as his mother. The video, posted to a YouTube channel titled Above Average Fishing, includes a caption saying Swanson dropped a large piece of bait around 300 meters from the shore using a drone.

Swanson estimated that the shark was “eight foot” in length, and told local media outlet Naples News that reeling in the shark involved a “three-hour fight”.

The footage shows the shark being reeled in, before Swanson poses for a number of photos alongside it. Swanson can then be seen bringing the shark back toward the water where it eventually makes its way back out to sea.

The Florida-based Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) responded to the video with social media posts on July 9 warning of the dangers to sea life of extended “fighting time” when fishing.

The foundation wrote, “Local media have recently reported on an angler who fought a large nurse shark in our local waters for almost three hours. Fighting a shark to exhaustion drastically increases the likelihood of it dying after being released.”

While the SCCF said it “supports responsible fishing practices” it also encourages anglers “to use the proper catch and release techniques to protect vulnerable shark populations.” Credit: Reed Swanson via Storyful

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting