'Jaws' moment after New Zealand kayak fisherman hooks huge shark

  • 12/12/2017

A New Zealand fisherman got the shock of his life, after hooking a giant four-metre-long bronze whaler shark off his sit-on-top kayak at Kawakawa Bay.

The man, known as James, told Newshub he doesn't want his last name used in this article.

He's afraid, he says, his friends won't go out fishing with him, if they knew what they might accidentally catch. This is his story - all caught on his GoPro.

It was the early morning, and James was on his 4.5m kayak fishing out from Kawakawa Bay at a depth of about four-metres. It was a nice day, and the water was warm.

"I had a heap of annual leave to get rid of, so would squeeze in as much solo fishing as possible," James told Newshub. "Enjoy the tranquillity and the escapism of kayaking."

He was fishing small - 7kg braid on a light rod - when he hooked a small one.

Then suddenly, the rod was wrenched down to the water.

"Had a line down directly beside me and I hooked a small snapper," he says.

"When I started winding it up, it suddenly gained a couple'a hundred kilos!

"It just gained weight really, really quickly, until the rod was bent right over and started towing me around the sea!"

James hoped it was a "solid kingfish", but this one was a lot bigger - and when it realised it was towing a passenger, it wasn't happy at being caught.

"I had it on for close to 15 minutes, before it woke up and got frisky," he says.

"It dragged me around for about half a kilometre, before I think it realised it was attached to a fisherman and it started leaping out of the water."

Video from James' camera shows his journey, as the giant creature hauled him at top speed. Then it started jumping out - the incredible moment captured on the GoPro.

"It surfaced about 50-60 metres away. I was absolutely astonished at the size of the thing and the sound of it when it splashed back in the water was pretty incredible.

"Imagine the sound of a cow doing a belly flop in a swimming pool - that comes pretty close."

It was a bronze whaler shark, a fast-swimming predator. This one was nearly as big as James' kayak.

"I'd estimate it at three to four metres and, at a guess, around 300kg," he told Newshub.

"I thought, what the f*** am I going to do with this? I'm in a freakin' kayak."

But before the huge shark could turn around and come at him, it bit through the line and swam away. Luckily, all he lost was a "lot of line".

"I don't want that anywhere near my boat!" he exclaimed in the video. "Hopefully it doesn't come back and get too angry."

But James didn't give up after his adventure.

"I caught a hammerhead and an eagle ray one after the other, after the bronzie," he laughs. "Managed to go home with a good little catch to share round."