‘Its teeth were as big as my head!’ British fisherman catches Great White Shark weighing TWO TONNES after epic boat battle
A British angler landed himself a real-life Jaws after reeling in a record-breaking monster SHARK – weighing almost TWO TONNES.
Fearless Andy Hales, 55, spent two hours wrestling with the 18ft (6m) beast after hooking the Great White shark off the coast of South Africa on March 25.
The company director had to be strapped into a specially designed chair as the 4,000lbs man-eater dragged the boat along the choppy seas.
Andy was left with blistered and cut hands after clinging on to his rod for dear life as the powerful beast struggled to get away.
He was eventually able to bring the shark under control alongside their 32ft boat after an epic TWO MILE journey.
But Andy and a pal were unable to haul their monster catch on board because it was too big to fit in their single-engine propelled vessel.
Yesterday Andy, who lives in Coleshill, Warks., with wife Susan, 47, said he had been fishing all his life but had never seen anything this big.
Speaking after his return to the UK, Andy, who owns construction services firm Zone Cee Ltd, said: “It really was Jaws-like and other people were saying “I think we need a bigger boat’.
“The size of the thing was just mind-blowing and it was like something from the movies. You could see these razor sharp teeth that were about the size of my head.
“I knew one slip and I could have got pulled in – I was hanging on for dear life. But you don’t have time to feel fear – the adrenaline just grips you.
“I knew this was no normal shark and I just thought ‘let’s do this’.
“It started dragging the boat and we saw how big it was, and we knew the battle was really on.
“One thing you don’t want is a huge angry shark right next to the boat when it’s still got lots of energy.
“Once you’ve got it on the line there’s no escape. You’re strapped into the chair which is attached to the boat.
“The rod is attached to the chair. If anything goes wrong you’re in the water. I had blisters on my hands, it was exhausting.
“When I finally reeled it in I just felt elated. It was one of the most incredible experiences.
“I would describe it as exhilarating rather than unnerving. Having sharks as long as 18ft circling you is a hell of an experience.
“The shark is more powerful than the boat’s engine, so you basically have to let it drag the boat along for a while to tire it out.
“I feel so proud now, to have landed such a monster. But you feel proud after every fish you land, they are all an achievement.
“If I had caught a 700lb shark it would have been a great day, but this was amazing.
“We didn’t know what it was at first, we had not gone out to get a Great White, we had some shark bait in order to get some smaller sharks.
“When we went out that day I never thought I would would be catching anything like that, the sheer size of it next to the boat is astonishing.
“It’s not just the length which leaves you astounded. Some of them are just huge – the width was like a wide office desk. They are incredible.
“The best bit about fishing in the end is after you have spent ages battling this amazing creature you can watch it swim off knowing it will be fine.”
Andy was sailing off the southernmost point of Cape Agulhas having been steered there by a captain experienced in catching and tagging Great Whites.
Andy, along with fellow British businessman Richard Foster, 54, was hunting for yellow fin tuna when the Shark appeared just after midday.
Richard, who runs a fishing equipment firm, added: “We were fishing for yellow fin tuna, and when you’re after them you’re always going to get the sharks and in this case it grabbed the bait.
“When he hooked it it was just incredible. It must have been more than six metres long. Andy had a huge job to reel it in.
“When we go t it next to the boat it was just incredible – it was the width of two shire horses standing next to each other.
“I have been fishing for a long time.
“Over the years I’ve had more than 39 sharks on my lines, some of them were more than 1,000lbs, but none were that big. It was just a monster.
“I have been over there 14 or 15 times and the waters are absolutely packed with Great White sharks.
“There’s never been more of them actually and that’s mostly down to the number of laws which protect them these days.”
The official International Game Fish Association (IGFA) said the Great White world record stands at 2,664lb (1.16 tonnes) and was caught in Australia in 1959.
Andy’s whopping catch is estimated to have weighed around one-and-three-quarter tonnes – which would break the ‘line caught’ record.
Richard added: “The thing is it all has to be estimated. What you don’t want to do is kill the shark in order to find out exactly how much it weighs.
“The skipper of the boat is incredibly experienced. For years he was involved with the Natal Fishing Board catching and tagging great whites for scientific purposes.
“He knows his sharks – he said it was 4,000lbs – might have been 4,200 or 3,800.”
GREAT WHITE SHARK FACTS:
* Great white sharks are the largest predatory fish in the sea and have a lifespan of around 25 years.
They live along the coasts of all continents except Antarctica.
It has 300 teeth, and they’re arranged in up to seven rows and are capable of eating sea lions whole.
Scientists estimate that after a big meal, a great white shark can last up to three months before needing another one.
The biggest great white shark ever caught was off Prince Edward Island in 1993. It was 20 feet long.
In one year, a single great white consumes about 11 tons of food.
Some scientists believe there are less than 10,000 great white sharks in the entire world.
They can measure longer than 20 feet (6 meters) and weigh up to 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms).