Four friends who went shark fishing for the first time in Cornwall were shocked when they reeled in a specimen which is a cousin of the Great White.
George Hill and his brother Zack, along with pals Rob and Tom Cunliffe, took to the water off Falmouth in Cornwall at the weekend with low expectations.
They could not believe it when after a struggle with the rod when they caught a porbeagle shark.
George explained: “We went out that day for the first time targeting a variety of fish and we thought we would try for something bigger.
“We didn’t think it was even going to happen. We had three bites and lost two other sharks and had something huge launch out of the water 20ft from the boat, which we thought could have been a tuna.
“The reel was smoking from the moment I picked up the rod, as the unknown creature bolted off into the deep blue. We were using whole mackerel as bait, which we left to swelter in the sun for a couple a days to get a real stench going.”
He added: “We knew it was big during the battle but were shocked when we could see it coming up in the water.
“It was scary to see one as they are a member of the same family of sharks as the Great White. To catch one was quite special. Not sure how rare it is to catch one but I think they are harder to catch than blue sharks.”
George, who regularly spearfishes in Cornish waters, has recently seen pods of dolphins, barrel jellyfish, puffins and large schools of bass in and around the sea off Cornwall.
The porbeagle typically reaches 8 feet in length and 298Ibs in weight. It has been assessed as vulnerable worldwide by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).