ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. -

A St. Johns County man caught a 3-foot shark while fishing off the St. Augustine Beach Pier early Monday morning.

Edward Bell said he felt something heavy and knew he couldn't bring it up the pier on his own, so he dragged the shark to the beach.  He released the shark back into the ocean.

Bell has caught sharks before.  "Biggest one was 4.5 feet, similar to a hammerhead, it was in the same family," Bell said.

This shark was caught less than 24 hours after a 9-year-old was bitten by a shark in St. Augustine Beach.  

Bell said sharks are closer than many people realize.

"At any given time, they're 10, 12, to 20 feet away.  You just don't know that they're there.  But they are there," Bell said.