'We're going to need a bigger boat': Two fishermen reel in 'largest shark ever caught in British waters'


Awesome: This 10ft-long porbeagle shark was caught 300 yards off a Cornish beach

It was supposed to be a pleasant day fishing for tiddlers off the Cornish coast.
But that all changed when Wayne Comben and Graeme Pullen came face to face with the razor-sharp teeth of a monster shark in a feeding frenzy.
For an hour and a half, the pair fought to reel in the massive fish, thought to be the largest shark ever caught in British waters. In scenes reminiscent of the movie Jaws, the 10ft-long porbeagle, a member of the man-eating Great White family, dragged their tiny boat for a mile out to sea.
Experts believe the predator weighed about 550lbs (more than 39 stone), easily beating the 507lbs record for the previous biggest shark caught off the north Scottish coast in 1993.

Rare sight: Richard Peirce, of the Shark Trust and Shark Conservation Society, said the huge size of the fish meant it was a probably a female

It dragged the two men and their 17ft-long boat for a mile and they spent 90 minutes reeling it in using a rod and line taken from a garden strimmer.
Their underwater camera recorded the moment the huge fish - thought to be a female and possibly pregnant - was pulled toward their little boat, the Hi Sea Drifter.
Mr Comben, who had never seen a shark before, came just inches from the porbeagle's razor-sharp teeth as he and Mr Pullen leaned over the side to catch it.

You're gonna need a bigger boat: In scenes reminiscent of the movie Jaws, Wayne Comben and Graeme Pullen reel in the shark

It was impossible for them to lift the beast on board, as they would have needed a bigger boat.
After measuring its length and width at 10ft and 2ft, they were able to calculate its weight at around 550lbs (more than 39 stone).
Mr Pullen, 60, legally tagged it for his business totallyawesomefishing.com, before removing the hook from its mouth and releasing it back into the sea off Boscastle, North Cornwall.
The veteran fisherman said: 'I have never seen anything like it in 40 years of sea fishing.
'The whole thing was like something from Jaws.
'The shark went into this crazed feeding frenzy.

Epic battle: Anglers Graeme Pullen (left) and Wayne Comben (right) spent 90 minutes reeling in the shark, which dragged them and their 17ft-long boat for a mile

'If someone would have been in the water at the time it would have taken a good bite out of you.
'It was about 10ft long and was easily 550lbs. Even we had more men, we would have needed a bigger boat to bring it on board. It would have capsized us.'
Despite its size, fearsome teeth and relation to the Great White, porbeagles are shy creatures and not considered a threat to humans.
Some experts believe porbeagles and blue sharks are migrating to UK waters because there is not enough food for them in the over-fished Atlantic.
Mr Pullen, from Hook in Hampshire, believes the huge specimen acted in such a frenzied way because it was hungry.
The pair were tagging small tope and bull huss fish when they caught the shark on May 23.

Vessel: Graeme Pullen said their boat, Hi Sea Drifter, was not big enough to bring the shark on board even if they had wanted to

Mr Pullen said: 'It was getting towards the end of the day and I just tipped three buckets of chum over the side of the boat.
'All the seagulls came over to feed on it and then in a split second they all rose off the water.
'At that moment this enormous shark ripped through the surface, thrashing its tail and fins about and went into a feeding frenzy.
'When I saw it I thought it was easily about 300lbs.
'It took our mackerel bait and got our small hook in the corner of its mouth and dragged us for a mile towards the Atlantic.
'After an hour Wayne put a harness on because his back was giving way.'
Mr Comben, a 45-year-old water engineer from Havant, Hampshire, said: 'The way the shark just exploded on to the surface gives me goose bumps thinking about it now.

Caught on camera: The shark is thought to be the largest ever reeled in within British waters

'I fought the fish with everything I had and was running on adrenaline by the end of it.
'At one point I saw it under the boat and the size of it sent a shiver down my spine.'
Mr Pullen used green strimmer line to act as the strong 'leader' line and grabbed hold of it to control the shark when it came up to the boat.
Just like in Jaws, both men had to put on leather gloves otherwise their hands could have been sliced open if the shark swam off with the line.
Dr Phil Williams, an independent expert of marine species, has studied the footage and photographs of the catch.

At risk: The porbeagle shark is classed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as critically endangered in the north east Atlantic

He said: 'The current British record for a shark is 507lbs and this has got that beaten hands down.
'Looking at the footage, the shark is immense. It is huge and colossal, I haven't seen anything like it.
'Its shoulders and head are just massive.'
Chris Brown, a marine biologist for the chain of SeaLife centres, said: 'f the length and bulk descriptions of this fish are accurate then its probably not far off the 550lbs mark.
'The pictures certainly seem to support the fisherman's story.'
Richard Peirce, chairman of the Shark Trust and Shark Conservation Society, said the huge size of the fish meant it was a probably a female - and possibly pregnant.
He praised the anglers for releasing the endangered shark back into the water.
Mr Peirce added: 'At that size it was almost certainly a female.
'There have been quite a lot of reports of pregnant females on this coast over the years.'

source: dailymail