When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Angler catches shark - which was the same size as his boat
11:40am Wednesday 4th September 2013 in News
A Hampshire angler has caught one of the biggest sharks in British waters that was almost the same size as his boat.
Wayne Comben, 46, battled for two hours to reel in the monster thresher shark which dragged his 17ft long dinghy four miles out to sea off the Isle of Wight.
Wayne and fisherman friend Graeme Pullen tried to lift the mighty catch on board but that resulted in one of them nearly being dragged into the water.
After measuring its length and width at 14ft and 2ft 6ins, they were able to calculate its approximate weight at around 550lbs.
It is the biggest thresher shark ever caught in the UK by rod and line, beating the previous record of 350lbs for a specimen off Looe, Cornwall, in August 2012.
And it rivals the weight of the biggest shark hooked in our waters - a huge porbeagle that the same pair caught last year off Boscastle, Cornwall.
Thresher sharks - known for their long tails and ability to leap out of the water - are rare visitors to UK and are usually found in the warmer mid-Atlantic.
But it is said that more of them are being attracted here in the summer months due to climate change.
The record thresher was caught about a mile south of St Catherine's Point on the Isle of Wight last Friday from Wayne's 17ft dinghy 'Taryn'.
Graeme, 61, said: "We went out looking for a thresher shark thinking we would be lucky to get one at all.
"We placed a chum bait in the water and then after two hours there was a screaming from Wayne's reel.
"It was too dangerous to the boat an achored otherwise it could have capsized. The shark towed us about four miles to the south east and into the shipping lanes.
"It took two hours to reel it towards the boat and in that time it jumped out of the water three times. It looked huge.
"Wayne was very tired by the end and had blisters on his thumbs. We brought it alongside the boat when I held onto the steel trace on the line I nearly got dragged it.
"It measured 14ft, including the tail which must have been 5ft."
Graeme, from Hook, Hants, and Wayne, a water engineer from Havant, Hants, released the shark safe and well back into the English Channel.
In order for the thresher shark to be officially claimed as a record the pair would have had to have killed it and weighed it on land.
Graeme said: "We reckon it weight about 550lbs, far in excess of the current British record.
"But there was no way we were going to kill such a superb specimen just to have a name on a piece of paper."
Graeme managed to take film footage of the shark being caught to back up the record claim.
Thresher sharks are largely harmless to humans, although they can cause serious injury with their thrashing tails that they use to stun prey in the sea.
Darren Gook, a shark expert with the Sea Life centre network, said: "This is certainly a big shark.
"Threshers are rare summer visitors to British waters, and rarely seen unless they happen to get caught by fishermen.
"They are beautiful animals, completely harmless to man, and I am delighted that this one was released safely.
"That tail can deliver a really powerful blow, so these fishermen may also have avoided potentially serious injury by letting this one go on its way."
The biggest thresher shark caught in the world on rod and line is one that weighed 767lbs off New Zealand in 1983.
Comments are closed on this article.