Fishermen catch 8-foot lemon shark in busy swim area

Shark caught off public dock in Fernandina Beach

By Ashley Harding - Reporter, Kristin Cason - Assignment editor

Some local fishermen caught a lemon shark measuring more than 8 feet Thursday.

WJXT reports the shark was caught off a public dock in downtown Fernandina Beach, just off Ash Street in an area where many people swim.

Keith Jones caught the shark and said this wasn't the first one he's seen, but it was the biggest he's ever seen. Jones works at Atlantic Seafood on Ash Street and said the shark was caught at the city public boat ramp.

"After about an hour, it went crazy. It's just, it was a fun fight, for sure," Jones said. "It's just crazy what's in these waters that people don't know about. That's the big thing."

Jones said they weren't using a regular fishing pole and that there's just no way that would've worked.

"If you don't have something like this on him, once he hits, he's either going to break your line or bend your hook out or something," Jones said.

News4Jax spoke with Dr. Quinton White, a professor of biology and marine science at Jacksonville University. He said that despite what some people might think, this does happen.

"(It's) unusual, but not unheard of. I think people would be surprised sometimes to know how close sharks are to them. We see it particularly along the surf zone a lot," White said.

For Jones and his friends, this shark may have been the catch of the day, but they're convinced there's a bigger prize still out there.

"We're getting closer and closer to this world record one," Jones said. "He is still out there. We're going to get him."