[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2007, 19:19 GMT
Novice hooks a shark on holiday
Mary Cook shark fishing in Florida
Mrs Cook felt "elated" after hooking the lemon shark
A 61-year-old woman has outdone her fishing champion husband by hooking a shark on a family holiday in Florida.

Mary Cook, from Wenvoe near Cardiff, strained her neck muscles and needed physiotherapy after battling the 9ft (2.74m) lemon shark.

She said she had been on fishing trips previously, but had never participated.

After 30 tiring minutes reeling in the 100lb (45.6kg) shark she let it go, but described it as "tremendous - a once in a lifetime thing".

Mr and Mrs Cook and their friend Gary Evans, who owns a fishing tackle shop in Cardiff, went shark fishing while on holiday in the Keys.

She said: "I don't normally participate but this time I wanted to go. The weather was calm, the sea wasn't rough and it wasn't deep either so I decided to join them.

"I saw a fin and there they were - so I cast out and caught it."

Mrs Cook, who used Spanish mackerel fillets as bait, added: "After it struck I pulled like mad and it ran off with the line.

the lemon shark Mrs Cook caught
She struggled with the 9ft shark for half an hour

"I wasn't sure what to do but Gary and Colin and the skipper encouraged me to reel it in."

She said it took 30 minutes to reel the fish in, by which time she was exhausted.

"They had to help me in the end, I couldn't quite finish it off," she said.

The shark was pictured by the side of the boat before being released.

Mrs Cook said it was a "beautiful creature" and that she could not wait to go fishing again.

Lemon sharks are found mainly along the subtropical and tropical parts of the Atlantic coast of north and south America.

It gets its name because of its pale yellow brown colouring. It poses little threat to divers and swimmers which makes it popular for open water shark diving.

There have only been around 10 reported lemon shark attacks and none of them have been fatal.

Mr Cook who is a world champion coarse fisherman admitted he was proud of his wife's catch.

He said he had just as much enjoyment watching her reel the shark in as catching his own.

Shark find stirs up tourist beach
28 Jul 06 |  North West Wales


Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific