Kayak angler Graham Smith battled for three hours with a porbeagle shark estimated at 300lb while paddling off the northern tip of Ireland.
The Fish Dynamix ambassador, from Moville, County Donegal, was fishing on June 18 when his fishing companion saw a shark was chasing a hooked pollack.
“Initially, I thought it was a basking shark,” said Graham. “But no, the ominous distinctive fin of a porbeagle came out from under his kayak.”
After two attempts at catching the shark with a bait rigged swimbait style, Graham hooked a coalfish on one rod and pollack on another and began trolling the baits.
“Within moments of trolling, up she came like a scene out of ‘Jaws!’, fin out of the water and creating an impressive wake as she charged after the bait. In seconds she had the bait and headed off with it, but she missed the hook, so I set up again,” said Graham.
Next time as the shark came after the bait he kept paddling. The shark cruised ahead of him so he grabbed the rod and waited “for all hell to break loose”, and it did. The porgie took line off the reel at an impressive rate, but after 40 minutes Graham got her to the side of the kayak.
“With that she smashed the water with her huge tail turned and violently rammed my kayak. She shifted my kayak at least 5ft through the water,” he said.
The shark dragged his kayak towards some rocks and then into the open sea. Luckily, she kept inside a half-mile circle until the last 30 minutes of the fight, and towed Graham a mile further down the coast.
After three hours, Graham felt he was winning the battle, just as a local wildlife ranger, Emmet Johnston and a basking shark tagging crew were passing by. Emmet is a shark expert and estimated the porbeagle to be easily 300lb.
Graham added: “They hung on and gave me a gentle tow to make sure the shark was well revived. I unhooked her and away she went. She was an impressive sight, and probably the biggest shark I will ever get alongside my kayak.”