Instagram, Jack Cronin

Teen Catches 15-Foot Python on His First Trip to Florida Everglades

Now, that's beginner's luck if we've ever seen it.

A Fort Myers teen is ending his last summer before college on a high note: Catching one of the largest snakes seen in recent history, in what may be the best case of "beginner's luck" we've seen.

According to CBS, Jack Cronin, a recent graduate of Bishop Verot High School, was on his very first trip to Everglades National Park to take part in the 2023 Florida's Python Challenge, is a 10-day competition in the snake-heavy park during which participants target invasive Burmese pythons, with prizes for both the longest python removed and the most pythons removed.

It was Cronin's first ever python hunt, too. CBS reports that the 18-year-old said he spotted the snake's head first, and when he couldn't find the end of the snake, he knew he'd found a big one.

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Lucky for Cronin, he was with a group of python experts known as "The Glades Boys," who are barely older than Cronin but have already caught record-busting pythons in Florida.

Cronin was able to jump on the python and wrest control of its head.

"That was my first python I ever jumped on," Cronin told CBS. "I've caught little snakes, that was my first python I'd ever seen."

Cronin and the snake hunters with Burmese python.

"The thing went nuts and it turned into a wrestling match," he continued. Don't worry: Cronin came out on top.

A post-capture measurement revealed that the python was 15 feet and 6 inches long, and weighed 86 pounds.

Unfortunately, Cronin's snake missed the official weigh-in of the 2023 Python Challenge by just 5 hours. In 2022, the Longest Python Grand Prize went to Dustin Crum, a professional python hunter who brought home an 11-foot python.

For Cronin, though, it didn't seem to matter.

"It was an adrenaline rush like no other," the teen told CBS. "We'll definitely be back out there."

The impressive catch comes almost one month after another insane case of beginner's luck in python hunting when a 22-year-old and his friends tackled a 19-foot python into submission.

READ MORE: Florida Snake Hunter Bags 16-Foot Burmese Python Loaded With 60 Eggs