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Shark caught off Surfside Beach Sunday

If you're headed to the beach this Memorial Day weekend, be careful if you go in the water. You may have company.
Credit: Surfside Beach PD
A couple of fishermen reeled in this shark off the Texas coast in Surfside Beach in Brazoria County, the police department said.

SURFSIDE BEACH, Texas — A couple of fishermen reeled in a shark off Surfside Beach Sunday morning, according to the police department.

Commenters guessed it was a blacktip or bull shark. Surfside Beach PD didn't say whether they kept it or released it.

There were reportedly other sharks spotted along Surfside over the weekend.

If you're headed to the beach, there are some things you should know before you venture into the water.

Sharks along the Texas Coast are common but shark attacks are relatively rare, especially unprovoked attacks in areas with a lot of people.

According to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File, there were 57 unprovoked bites worldwide in 2022, mostly in the United States and Australia. Of those, five were deadly, down from nine deaths in 2021 and 10 in 2020.

Crystal Beach shark attack

In 2018, a beachgoer almost became a statistic when he was bitten by a shark near Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula. Blaine Shelton told KHOU 11 he was swimming alone in the calm water about 200 yards from the shore when he heard a splash nearby.

“So I turn around to get out of there and that’s when he grabbed me by the leg," Shelton told us after he got out of the hospital. 

Shelton began to swim as hard as he could back to the sand. He said the shark was following him.

"Man, all it would’ve taken, if he would’ve grabbed me one more time, I might not have been able to swim,’” Shelton said. “And in which case, I’m fish bait.”

RELATED: Shark attack victim shares his story

The shark had ripped through the flesh and muscle below his right knee, taking out a piece of tendon in his leg. He spent four days at UTMB. 

Other recent Texas shark attacks

According to the University of Florida's database, there have been 45 shark attacks along the Texas coast since 2011. Nineteen of those were in Galveston, three were in Brazoria and two were in Matagorda. 

The more recent cases include a six-year-old girl who was bitten on the leg while floating in a tube off Pirates Beach in Galveston.  A 13-year-old boy was bitten by a shark on a Galveston beach in 2015 and a 14-year-old girl from Bellaire was bitten there in 2014. 

RELATED: History of Texas shark attacks

Tips to avoid a shark attack

The chances of being bitten by a shark remain incredibly low but the University of Florida offers these tips for beachgoers.

  • Swim with a buddy.
  • Stay close to shore.
  • Don’t swim at dawn or dusk.
  • Don’t swim around schools of fish or where people are fishing.
  • Avoid wearing jewelry.
  • Avoid excess splashing.
  • If you're bleeding, don't go into the water.
  • Maintain eye contact with the shark
  • Slowly move away, and if possible, get out of the water
  • If it bites you, hit it in the eyes and gills or hit it in the snout and push it away.

Is it legal to catch sharks in Texas?

There are more than a dozen types of sharks in Texas waters. 

It's legal to catch some types, but they are subject to minimum size requirements and bag limits, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Here's a list of the breeds that you can and can't legally catch here. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out