The Los Angeles Times reported that a game warden saw the young men with their unusual catch, but let them go because he thought it was a mako shark, a smaller cousin of white sharks. When he realized it was a young white shark instead, he caught up to the men again at Newport Beach Pier and confiscated the carcass.
Great whites have been a protected California species since 1994 and it is illegal to catch or hold one. Because of this, the young men could face misdemeanor charges.
In defense of the bro fishermen (but not bros everywhere), they thought the shark was a mako, which is not illegal to catch. They said "c'mon mako" when trying to gaff and bring up the shark.
Their capture of the white shark can be seen in this video (video contains graphic images and language):
Surfers and swimmers needn't fear too much though. Even though the shark was caught close to shore and its mom might not be far off, there has never been a fatal shark attack in Huntington Beach. There have only been two fatal attacks in the last 15 years in SoCal, one in in Santa Barbara county in 2010 and another near San Diego in 2008.
But if we have learned any lessons from Jaws: The Revenge, next time the bro anglers get in the water, it will be personal.