EMERSON - A 13-year-old boy from Emerson caught a shark believed to be over 200 pounds while fishing at Long Beach Island over the weekend.
"I started reeling it in and it didn't really feel that big at first. And then once I got closer to shore, I felt the head moving so I knew it was something different,” says Gianni Mandile.
The boy’s father first thought that it was a sting ray, but says that once he saw the tail, there was no denying that it was a shark.
Gianni and his father began wrestling to reel the shark in. They found that the hook only got the side of the shark’s mouth.
"If he popped the hook, I was going to chase the thing down and pull it out myself,” says Joseph Mandile. “It’s a big catch for [Gianni] and I’m proud of him.”
Gianni says that he was able to reel the shark close to shore and his father grabbed it by the tail to bring it in closer. The encounter was caught on video.
“I was scared at one moment when the shark turned and it looked like it could get me and I kind of stumbled but really I wasn't. We've been fishing a long time,” says Joseph.
Gianni and his father have been fishing since he was 3 years old.
After taking a few photos with the shark, Gianni and his father let it go. Joseph Mandile says that he believes the shark was more than 250 pounds.