Great White Shark Startles Auckland Anglers

A group of fishermen in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbor were startled when a great white shark ended up on their line, fighting against them as it jumped from the water.

Jaan Robertson was fishing with his uncle and two other family members when they encountered the shark on Monday afternoon, according to the New Zealand Herald. Angling off the Te Atatu Peninsula in just 2.5 meters of murky water, they were about to turn in for shore when Jaan’s brother, Mat Robertson, felt something large and powerful strike his bait.

As line screamed off the reel, Mat realized he couldn’t hold the rod, passing it to his more experienced brother. Jaan began to fight the animal, but the group was astonished when a massive, four-meter-long white shark breached the surface.

“I thought it was a freakin’ whale at first, it was so big,” Jaan recalled.

“I just started screaming at the guys, ‘Get the anchor up, quick, quick, quick.’ And when it jumped there was this big slap like a whale. But you could definitely see it was a shark by its underbelly – it was really white and you could see the teeth in its mouth.”

The group backed their boat toward the shark, attempting to get closer to the great white so they could cut the line. Jaan noted that he had no desire to injure the white shark.

“I don’t want to kill an animal like that or hurt it, so if I can get it closer to the boat and cut the line off at its mouth it’s going to have a better chance of surviving,” he explained. “But then it did another jump and the line broke. I think it landed on the line.”

The incident is just one of several sightings of a great white that have taken place in the area in recent days. As Newstalk ZB notes, several boaters have reported spotting a large white shark, which is thought to be the same animal. Clinton Duffy, a shark expert with the local Department of Conservation, warned people to be cautious around the shark but relayed that the animal was unlikely to cause any major problems.

Last month, an Auckland man narrowly saved his dog from an attack by a bronze whaler shark. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the canine was swimming near shore at a park when its owner spotted the shark approaching and called it from the surf.

Jaan said that he wasn’t afraid during his encounter with the great white, instead calling his close-up view of the shark “exhilarating.”

[Image via the New Zealand Herald]

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