Retired professional hockey player John McLean Jr. led a group of seven Idahoan fishers on the evening charter, the video shows. The group traveled to the shores near Portofino Island to catch a shark, but it seems that none expected to catch a magnificent great white.
“This was a thrill of a lifetime,” McLean told Fox News via email. “I have caught many sharks before but I will never forget the moment I realized I was looking in to the eyes of a great white shark. Those eyes looked right through my soul. A terrifying and beautiful creature. My great concern was for the safety of the great white. It’s hard for me to believe I was chest high in water with the great white as I encouraged it to swim away.”
He added, “I’m just a guy from Minnesota who moved to Florida to play professional hockey and ended up shark fishing. Go figure.”
According to KLEW, the CBS affiliated television station in Lewiston, Idaho, where the amateur shark hunters hail from, the group caught the great white shark last week and it took 40 minutes to reel in.
McLean told the outlet that the shark was quickly released back into the water. Moreover, he said he was able to identify the shark as a great white based on its eyes and fin.
Great white sharks can grow to measure more than 15 feet in length and weigh more than 2.5 tons, according to National Geographic.
Additionally, great whites can reach swimming speeds up to 15 miles per hour.
The current population is reportedly unknown, but the species is considered vulnerable.