This is the moment a team of amateur British anglers reeled in a 450lb shark on rod and line – one of the biggest ever caught in UK waters.
The six pals hired a boat for a day’s fishing off the Devon coast hoping they would catch something half the size.
They were stunned when the huge porbeagle – over 7ft long – took their line about a mile out from Ilfracombe.
The six took turns to haul it in and they landed it on their boat in less than 25 minutes before returning it to the water.
John Hodgkins, 31, said: “Without a doubt this is the fish of a lifetime. Everybody has said how much of a monster it was.
“It’s the time of the year the females come to get rid of their pups.
“She would normally be out in the deep water but they come in for so many weeks of the year to get rid of their babies, then go back to the deep water.”
The porbeagle, a member of the Great White family, typically reaches 8.2ft in length and an average weight of 298lb.
The sharks are naturally shy and there have only been three recorded attacks on humans – none of them fatal.
They are critically endangered in the North Atlantic.
The crew from Bristol think it was a record-breaking catch and were surprised it took them less than half an hour to land it.
John, from Portishead, added: “It usually takes up to two hours plus but the skipper reckoned she was tired out from maybe giving birth, that’s why she came in so easy.
“That’s the reason we boated her, due to her already having the babies. Had she still been pregnant we wouldn’t have boated her.”
John was with friends Alex Steele, Toby Cross, Marcus Harper, Wayne Pitt and David Brooks.
He said the razor-toothed shark was so huge that the kipper Daniel Hawkins was reluctant to bring it on deck.
“The skipper came to the conclusion she had just let go of her babies. She had just given birth, that’s the reason we took the decision to boat her.
“We had a few beers the night before but that sure woke us up.”
The men, who had rented the boat for a day’s fishing, posed with a trophy photo of the shark which they nicknamed Lola, before weighing her and setting her free.
The pals had gone out hoping for a catch half the size.
They were just wrapping up a day of shark fishing less than a mile off the Ilfracombe coast when the massive female bit.
In 2012 a 550lb porbeagle was also reportedly caught off the Cornish coast but as it was set free, it is unknown whether it holds the record for the biggest shark caught in British waters.
The existing British shark record stands at 507lbs but for any fish to be officially recognised as the biggest, rules stipulate it to be killed and weighed on shore.
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