12-Year-Old Boy Reels in Great White Shark Catch

When most people go fishing, they’re hoping to catch the big one but it doesn’t always turn out that way. A 12-year-old Massachusetts boy certainly got more than he bargained for when he reeled in a 450-pound great white shark.

Campbell Keenan was visiting Fort Lauderdale with his family when they decided to take a charter fishing boat out to sea. He was fishing aboard Captain Paul Paolucci’s charter boat off the coast of the state when he hooked something bigger than usual.

“We had to hold onto him. We had to make sure he wasn’t going to go off the boat,” mother Colleen Keenan said.

Credit: Colleen Keenan

The boat’s crew soon realized the 12-year-old actually had a great white shark on the end of his line. “We realized it was a shark when it was like 20 feet away, probably, and we had to get it in. We put this, like, buoy on it to make it not go under,” Campbell Keenan said.

The boat’s crew helped the boy struggle with the monster fish, wanting to reel it in so it could be tracked by researchers. “It took awhile. It took 45 minutes or an hour to catch it,” Paolucci said. “We knew we had something pretty substantial from the initial bite it took about 300 yards out.”

The shark ended up measuring in at 130 inches long and about 450 pounds, the size of “an absolutely beautiful female.”