GREAT WHITE DEATH
The Great White Shark is the undisputed king of the sea. Nothing is as big and as aggressive. They are capable of demolishing baits, boats and anything else that they want. They are known to grow to 8 meters, though anything over 5 meters (about 1000lbs) is considered a monster. Absolutely fearless, it can appear suddenly behind a boat, lift itís great head and eyeball the occupants. An unnerving experience. Any fish over 4 meters is way too much for any boat under 6 meters. These sharks will take live or dead baits, but are mostly fished for with huge slabs or whole tuna baits, and huge amounts of berley to attract them.
Whilst found all over the world and all around the Australian coast, there are certain locations which have a reputation for having many Great Whites. South Australia has the deserved reputation as the Great White capital of the world. IGFA record reveal some of the biggest sharks ever taken on rod and reel have come from these waters.
Because of their great bulk and stubbornness, Great Whites test those who hook them to the limit. And one tested me to the limit on one trip with Sharkmen Charters, at an island 20kms off the mainland. As we approached the island some of the resident population of seals came out to greet us, while others eyed us suspiciously from the rocks. We established a thick, pungent berley trail and hung some tuna carcases over the transom as teasers. I was really looking forward to doing battle with a Great White. But the next few days passed without incident.
You can find a Great White in a few hours or it can take days, patience is a pre-requisite. The fourth day promised perfect weather. But something was different. Our berley buckets and the tuna had been shredded and all the seals had disappeared. We had had a visitor. I hopped in the chair and harnessed up ready to go, but it was an hour before the shark came back. She was huge, must have been 5 meters or more and well over 1000lbs. My eyes bulged and my mouth suddenly went dry. I had never seen such a big fish. My pulse raced as the Great White prepared to attack.
It reared from the water, snapping its jaws as itís dead black eyes swiveled in their sockets and eyeballed me. I was transfixed. I was soon shaken out of my stupor as the great fish took one of our baited hooks. I let her run with it before sinking the hook and hung on for dear life as she barrel rolled across the surface. Then she settled down and went deep. Line raced off the spool as I fought to hold her, and it was some time before I was able to get some line back and feel in control. The fight took four hours and we did it in rotation, but finally the shark was beside the boat and we quickly tagged and released her.
Emotionally and physically spent I quickly downed a few beers and realised I had just experienced something I would never forget. Everyone should have such an experience at least once in their lifetime.
Big, very big, with a dull grey back and a white underside. Spindle shaped body. Triangular shaped teeth with serrations on the edge. Large caudal fin with both the upper lobe and the lower lobe being approximately the same size. Long conical snout. Long gill slits.
For more information on fishing holidays in Australia, contact
PO Box 287
ph: + 61-3-9783 1104
fax: 61 3 9783 1017
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