Boy's shark tale weighs 551 pounds

By Times Wires
Published January 3, 2008

Twelve-year-old Aidan Medley started the new year with the catch of his life: a 551-pound bull shark.

The Connecticut boy was fishing on the charter boat Thumper, just north of the Palm Beach Inlet, on New Year's Day when he hooked the record-breaking shark, the Palm Beach Post reports.

"When you have a shark on the line, it's completely painful," said Aidan, who said he lost feeling in his body after about 20 minutes of having the shark on his line.

Aidan weighs just 120 pounds. First mate Roy Rice said Aidan, who has been casting lines since age 5, reeled in the fish on his own.

The last record shark catch was a 517-pounder at Panama City Beach in 1981. But it still may have been smaller than a bull shark that two Pinellas men landed June 2 while fishing from the back yard of a Venetian Isles home.

Cousins Ed and Frank Maloney said they measured their shark at 8 feet 10 inches. They didn't have a scale, but estimated its weight at 650 to 700 pounds. It was never officially weighed.