A huge thresher shark estimated to weigh 450lb has been hooked off the coast of Cornwall.
Only a handful of anglers have been lucky enough to do battle with these elusive predators in UK waters, but shark fishing fanatic Dave Turner realised a dream when he set his hook into the jaws of the huge specimen.
He was fishing aboard ‘Wave Chieftain’ with popular skipper Nigel Hodge, who’s boss of Cornish Fishing that operates out of Mylor Harbour, and struck gold when he presented a whole mackerel hookbait 120ft below the surface.
“I struck and all hell broke loose as the water erupted in all directions around 100m from the boat and both the skipper and I shouted ‘Mako on’,” Dave told Angling Times.
“But when it came up and thrashed on the surface for the second time my jaw hit the floor when we saw the colossal tail sweeping ferociously from side to side and realised it was a thresher shark.
“This is only the second one I’ve seen in the wild in 50 years’ fishing for these predators.
“No-one has ever caught all the big four UK sharks, which consist of blue, porbeagle, mako and thresher, so with the first three of these already under my belt I was on the brink of making angling history.
But disaster fell for Dave when the thresher’s huge tail, which the predator uses to swat and stun smaller prey fish, cut through his mainline.
“The shark was like nothing else I’ve ever experienced before, as it smashed the surface four times before it totally broke my heart,” Dave said.
“It turned towards the boat and then its tail sliced through the slack line. I felt sick, as to catch the ‘big four’ has long been a dream of mine.
“The shark even stayed nearby to thrash around on the surface a further three times before disappearing into the depths.
“But I’m convinced I’ll get another chance, as I’ve never known so many sharks to inhabit waters around the UK coast.”