A juvenile great white shark was hooked and reeled to a Southern California pier Monday as passersby — and the angler — rooted for the predator to break the line.
The 6-foot shark in the accompanying footage can be seen languishing after being reeled to the surface at the San Clemente Pier in north Orange County. It’s belly-up toward the end of the struggle before finally righting itself and breaking the line, swimming away amid cheers.
Great white sharks are protected in California. Hooking them accidentally is not illegal, of course, but anglers are supposed to break the line once they realize they’ve hooked one.
The WLFA News and video report suggests that the shark was lured into shallow waters by the warm-water phenomenon known as El Nino.
But juvenile white sharks commonly feed in Southern California waters throughout much of the year, although sightings are more common in the spring and summer.
They’re rarely hooked by anglers on piers, but there have been sporadic catches, a few of which became well-publicized incidents.
In July 2014, a white shark bit a swimmer as it was hooked and being fought by an angler on the Manhattan Beach Pier in L.A. County.
In Aug. 2011, an angler was investigated after hauling a 5-foot white shark onto the Huntington Beach Pier in Orange County.
Closer to San Clemente, California, in Dec. 2013, a U.S. Marine caught and released a 10-foot white shark while fishing from the beach in Camp Pendleton.
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