GALVESTON, Texas -

A fisherman reeled in a shark near Galveston Tuesday afternoon near the San Luis Pass on the far west end of the island. Witnesses said it was a surprise catch for the fisherman. 

"That's the closest that I have ever seen a shark. I've never seen it outside of a tank. And this is the first time I've seen a shark in Galveston," said Dustin Chase, of Galveston. He told Local 2, "We saw the guy next to us pull his reel really tight and he had reeled in a 50 pound shark of some sort."

The fisherman struggled to get the hook out of the approximate four foot long shark. Once he did, he carefully approached the shark from the back and picked it up. 

Chase said, "He kind of slung it back into the water and we watched it for ten or 15 minutes to try and get back over the sand bar and get back into the water."

Witnesses say the shark eventually swam over a sand bar and back into the open water.