Giant pregnant shark caught up Manning River

It was a three-metre bull shark - and it wasn't alone.
It was a three-metre bull shark - and it wasn't alone. Photo credit: Supplied/ Yep I'm On Fishing

A huge pregnant shark has been caught in an Australian river, and the size has left locals agape.

Just a fortnight ago, Adam Maddalena was tagging sharks in the Manning River for the NSW Department of Primary Industries when he caught the massive creature.

It was a three-metre bull shark - the largest he's ever caught.

"We've got our baits out for anything that comes along, but we only target the smaller ones so we can tag them and send them off," Mr Maddalena told the Daily Telegraph.

Suddenly the shark struck and started pulling out the line.

"We actually thought it was a little one because it was only little bursts of speed that it was taking off with, so I took up tension and hooked it. I knew straight away it was a lot bigger than we expected," he said.

"We were actually speechless. We just looked at each other and realised how big it was, so there wasn't too much said. We just knew that we had to get in and get it done."

Mr Maddalena refused to give up, and battled to haul it in. Finally he reeled it in and managed to tag it.

"Even the head of it was a lot wider than standard so she was a pedigree, pretty much. She was a very healthy shark," Mr Maddalena told the Daily Telegraph.

"We made sure we kept her in deep water so there was no pressure on her. She was obviously in pup [ready to give birth]."

The sharks normally head into the northern NSW's rivers at this time of year to drop their pups.

They normally bear litters of between one and 10 children at a time.