'Majestic' shark encounter for fishermen

'Majestic' shark encounter for fishermen

Jamie Brown was wondering where all the fish had gone on Saturday afternoon and he got his answer in the form of this massive great white shark.

Mr Brown, 23, from Mindarie, had his adrenaline inducing encounter in 30m of water behind six mile reef, 11km off Hillarys.

He had been fishing with his mate Daniel for two hours when the snapper suddenly stopped biting.

Only a short time earlier, they had considered going for a swim from their five-metre aluminium boat.

“We got about 10 smaller pinkies and then it just went dead quiet,” he said.

“There were no bites for about half an hour and I said to my mate, ‘There’s something down there scaring them off.’

“I felt something pulling on my line, which turned out to be a fiddler ray, and as I started winding it up I looked to my left and this massive head popped up next to me.

“The size of it was just unreal. It was like that scene in Jaws when the shark comes towards the boat with his mouth open and head out.”

Mr Brown called the Department of Fisheries to report the sighting – a female great white measuring about 5.5m long and 2m wide.

The shark stayed close to the boat for five minutes, until a second bite at the propeller convinced the pair to find a new fishing spot.

They started pulling up their anchor but were forced to leave without it after the shark bit through the rope.

Mr Brown said he believed it surfaced to stake its claim to the fish below.

“She wasn’t interested in the fish. It was coming up to have a look at us,” he said.

“The first time I saw her, she came up to the side of the boat with her eye up in the air as if to say, ’Hey, I’m here.’

“There were a lot of pink snappers there and I reckon she was saying, ‘I’m feeding here, so leave me alone.”

The Abrolhos Islands Charters deckhand has been in the water with bronze whalers and tiger sharks, but he said nothing compared to Saturday’s experience.

“The first thought that went through my head was, ‘Oh my god.’ Adrenaline just rushed up straight away and I think I said a couple of swear words,” he said.

“Nothing really goes through your head apart from the adrenalin of seeing a shark that’s bigger than your boat.

“A creature of that size would have no problem flipping the boat. I was just thinking, if it flips us, we’re buggered.”

He said he felt privileged to come so close to such a “majestic” animal.

“It was unreal. I’d love to see one again and I’d love to be in the water with them one day," he said.