A 12-year-old Boy Caught a Great White Shark While Fishing Off the Coast of Florida

"I always thought I would catch some… decent fish, but not a great white, ever," he said.

A 12-year-old boy got the shock of his life while fishing off the coast of Florida when he reeled in a great white shark. 

The boy, who is from Massachusetts and fishing with his family about a mile off the coast of Fort Lauderdale earlier this week, realized he had something special when his catch was heavier than a normal fish, according to CBS News Boston. In fact, the shark was so large it took about 45 minutes for him to reel it in.

The shark was estimated to have been about 9 feet long and a whopping 400 pounds (the average female great white can grow up to 15 to 16 feet long, according to Smithsonian).

"It was like pushing a cement block with your fist," the boy, Campbell Keenan, told the network. "When it got to ten feet of the boat and we saw the belly, the captain was like, 'that right there is a great white shark!'"

But Keenan kept with it and eventually, those on the boat were able to tag the great white before setting it free. They named it “Jan Jan" after his sister's hockey coach who happened to be on board.

"I always thought I would catch some… decent fish, but not a great white, ever," Campbell told CBS News Boston.

It’s unclear how many great white sharks are found in waters off the United States, but they are definitely there. Great whites are found off the coasts of Maine all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico and beyond, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They can also be found off the coast of the U.S. in the Pacific Ocean from Alaska down to California and even Hawaii.

When a great white is born, it measures about 4 feet long with males maturing at about 26 years old and females maturing at about 33 years old. Some great white sharks can live up to more than 70 years.

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