A FISHERMAN got the fright of his life when he caught a massive great white shark while casting off a beauty spot.
Joel Gray was fishing with friends off the coast of New Zealand when he reeled in something much bigger than he expected.
After several minutes wrestling with the catch, he and several onlookers were shocked when the massive shark jumped out of the water.
A video posted online by Joel showed the massive creature breached the water several times trying to snap the line before it finally swam away.
The shark seemed to be a juvenile at about 2.5m long – just half of the size it could one day grow to.
Speaking to Stuff, Joel said: “Me and my mate were out the day before in kayaks in the same spot.
“Never seen one before around here, only baby hammerheads or bronze whalers. It was an exciting experience.”
The battle with the beastattracted a small crowd of excited onlookers, many of whom live near the bay.
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“The people were all pretty freaked out and amazed at the same time as they’d been swimming there not long ago. They were locals and said they have never seen a great white around before that day,” Joel added.
The close encounter happened at the Bay of Plenty, on New Zealand's North Island.
It came days after a warning by the local Department of Conservation to remain vigilant following a recent increase in shark sightings around the area.
Although the exact number cannot be confirmed, at least six great white sharks have been identified along the coastline since May 2020.
Marine expert Clinton Duffy said: “If you are visiting the ocean you need to be a little bit vigilant of what’s happening around you and swim where there are surf lifesaving patrols, and don’t swim or dive alone.
“If you are heading out on the water exercise caution and avoid swimming in the main channels where there are a lot of birds diving or belaying from kayaks and jet skis when fishing.”
Great white sharks are protected under New Zealand laws, which means although it is not illegal to accidentally catch one, it must be released immediately and the capture also needs to be reported.
Previously, we've reported how a group of surfers paddled for their lives as a 15-foot great white shark closed in.
Footage has captured the moment the enormous shark’s dorsal fin moving rapidly moving toward them near Australia's New South Wales South Coast.
In the UK, a postman came face-to-face with 9ft blue shark with a fishing hook caught in its face.
A keen wildlife photographer captured the heart-stopping moment the mighty creature swam just inches away from him off the coast in Penzance, Cornwall.
Also, a surfer has revealed how a bull shark nearly bit off his foot – but he's not afraid and will be heading back into the ocean.
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