A MONSTER shark - one of the biggest ever hooked in British waters - has been caught off the Isle of Wight.

The beast, weighing an estimated 500lb (226kg), was the "catch of a lifetime" for Danny Vokins, who has been chasing sharks for the past 30 years.

It took the amateur fisherman more than two hours to reel in the 14ft (4.26m) thresher shark.

Using live mackerel as bait on an 80lb line, the "freak" shark struck at 1.45pm about five miles south east of St Catherine's, the island's most southerly point.

As the battle raged between man and fish, he even had to call other fishermen to help him haul it to the side of his boat.

The marathon fight lasted two and a quarter hours and left the 58-year-old exhausted.

The property developer said it was the culmination of three decades of chasing the monsters of the deep. "This shark was a freak," he said.

Linda Reynolds, from the Shark Angling Club of Great Britain, said only sharks that are killed and then weighed on the shore go into the record books.

"It is a massive fish and it would certainly have broken the British record for the biggest thresher shark," she said.

Mr Vokins, of Bembridge, Isle of Wight, who releases every fish he catches, said he didn't fish for records: "I am not about killing sharks, there's not enough of them in the ocean, so I am not bothered about any record."