Fisherman in Old Orchard Beach reels in large shark, works to set it free

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 7:30 AM EDT
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OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine (WMTW) - An 18-year-old Maine fisherman caught something much bigger than he expected at Old Orchard Beach over the weekend.

Video shows Liam Nelson attempting to release a shark that he never attempted to catch.

Nelson said he did not throw bait in the water or use any tactics that would be considered illegal for fishing.

“I’d never encourage anyone to go pursue one, but seeing it up close is very cool,” Nelson said.

When Nelson realized what he caught at the end of his line, he said he quickly worked to set it free, adding it wasn’t harmed.

“Actually, I was using a circle hook just like this,” Nelson said, showing Maine’s Total Coverage the hook. “What had happened is the hook had sort of sewed itself around the shark’s tail, so it was never even hooked in the first place. So, as soon as I take the pressure off and stopped reeling, the whole thing just kind of shook off and the shark was free to go. So the shark was never even hurt at all.”

Shark sightings have been steadily becoming more common in the Gulf of Maine.

Nelson said he plans to fish for life and is currently saving up for a boat now that he graduated from high school.