BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Leave it to mom to capture a great video for her son. 17-year old Ian McCool caught a shark, at least six feet long, just over one week ago near Pensacola beach in Florida.
McCool was born and raised in Baton Rouge. He and his family take a deep-sea fishing trip every year, and usually just stick to small fish.
But this year, McCool wanted a little more adventure.
"Might as well catch something big," McCool said. "Have a fun time. And so I asked the deckhand to put on some bigger bait, bigger ride, get me set up."
After several casts, McCool hit the jackpot. He struggled for around ten minutes, and says he was afraid he was going to run out of energy to finish the job.
"It felt like 30 minutes of a straight workout," McCool said. "I couldn't see it, I didn't know what it was. And they were screaming 'shark' and stuff, and other people around, but I had no idea."
The deckhand stepped in to help Ian pull the big fish above surface. The hand identified it as a silky shark, which are abundant in tropical waters. They eventually cut the line and released the shark without doing it any harm.
McCool's little brother, Colin, was also on board.
"I was just thinking, 'Oh, if he gets this thing up, I'm just gonna hug him and be so proud for him,' because I know he really wanted to do something like this, so I was really happy for him," Colin said.
McCool says after making this catch, he's motivated to pursue more big fish in the future.
"The thrill of catching something when you don't know what's down there, catching something that big, bigger than you, it was really fun."
McCool just graduated from high school and says he plans on studying marine biology in college.