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Tampa, Florida -- John Radtke and his friends tell us they went out fishing over night near the mid span of the Howard Frankland Bridge with the intention of catching a shark.

"We were actually about to call it a night and head back in and then we hooked into this, but two and a half, three hours later, we finally got it back over here and on this bed," said Radtke.

Photo Gallery:10-foot bull shark near Howard Frankland

But, what they caught early this morning was way beyond their expectations... a 10-foot-long bull shark!

"This is the one and only, the biggest fish I ever caught in my life. I don't know how heavy it is, but we fought it forever and he and I... we had to pull it together, pass it back and forth because it was so strong," explained Radtke.

The bull shark is considered one of the most aggressive shark species, believed to be responsible for 69 unprovokedattacks worldwide according to the International Shark Attack File.

Sharks and bull sharks are actually quite common in the waters of Old Tampa Bay. While bull sharks are not a protected species, the state limits a catch to one per day per person or two pervessel.

The state does not allow the "catch and keep" of 25 different species of shark from state waters. The bull shark is not included on this list.

The University of Florida's Ichthyology Department saysthe bull sharkis listed by the World Conservation Union as "near threatened", however, it does not meet the criteria to be considered endangered or threatened.

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