Angler catches boat-sized bull shark, pats it

BIG CATCH: Tony Lenthall with his large 3m bull shark caught in the Nambucca River on Sunday.
BIG CATCH: Tony Lenthall with his large 3m bull shark caught in the Nambucca River on Sunday. Tony Lenthall

AFTER years of trying, intrepid shark angler Tony Lenthall finally got the one he was after.

Tony waited hours into the night when he got a knock on his line just after midnight on Sunday.

On a stretch of the Nambucca River, the biggest bull shark he had hooked picked up the chunk of eel he used as bait.

When Tony struck, he knew it was big as the fish attached to the end of his line lumbered around his 3.2m flat bottomed punt.

"It pulled me in and around the oyster leases," he said.

"The power this thing had was unbelievable."

Even with the use of 130-pound braided line, the female bull shark battled with Tony for about half-an-hour.

"I used heavy gear to bring it in quick and let it go again," he said.

After the tough battle, Tony supported the 3m shark as it swam back into the depths of the river.

He said the big female had swum up the river to give birth.

Tony catches-and-releases sharks, tagging them to allow Department of Primary Industries to log information.

Tony respected the sharks in the river but said he stayed out of the water.

"To be honest, it's exciting not frightening," he said.

Topics:  coffs coast fishing editors picks nambucca river

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