A FISHERMAN caught a 10ft shark off the coast of Cornwall after an hour long fight to reel it into his boat.
Kevin Finch, 30, who took up the sport to combat his anxiety, hooked the 500lbs fish just half a mile from Cornish beaches.
Kevin Finch took up fishing to cope with his anxietyCredit: BNPS
The porbeagle shark thrashed as Kevin reeled the whopping catch in towards his 17ft long boat.
It measured 10ft long and had a girth of 8ft, giving it a calculated weight of 500lbs or 35st.
The porbeagle shark, a relative of the great white, was one of the biggest ever caught in British waters.
It justified Kevin having to make two 12 hour round trips from his home in Kent to Cornwall after having to abort the first due to a broken boat engine.
He returned three days later with two friends and caught the shark just an hour into the successful trip using mackerel as bait.
Kevin said: “I had trial and tribulations getting down there the first time. Everything went wrong and everything was telling me not to go back.
“But I just had to do it.
“On both days I was fishing a reef about half-a-mile out and close to where people surf.
“When I caught the shark it probably took about 300 metres of my line before I could even think about reeling it in.
“When I did it was like trying to fight a lorry with a stick. I was fighting it for an hour.
“It was man against beast or in this case a man eating shark.
“I saw it come up through the water and I said ‘that is a big fish’.
“When I got it to the side of the boat it was thrashing about with its big jaws.
“I couldn’t believe my luck. I was just gobsmacked afterwards and had a massive sense of achievement.
“I have still got sore arms and an aching back from it now.”
After taking the measurements Kevin unhooked the shark and released it back into the sea.
The official record for the biggest porbeagle shark caught in the UK stands at 507lbs. It was caught in 1993 by Scots fisherman Chris Bennett off the the Orkney Isles.
Potential record fish must be weighed on land for them to be considered an official record by the British Records Fish Committee, meaning they have to be killed.
Most anglers who catch big game fish are unwilling to do that and so bring them alongside to get a calculated weight.
In 2012 Graeme Pullen and Wayne Comben believed they claimed the unofficial British record porbeagle with one that weighed 550lbs off Boscastle, Cornwall.
Along with blue sharks and thresher sharks, porbeagles – Lamna nasus in Latin – are native to UK waters.
They are large powerful sharks but are not considered harmful to humans as they rarely come towards the shore.
Kevin, from Chatham, Kent, only took up angling a year ago to help him deal with anxiety caused by a background of drug abuse
Since then he has set up a YouTube channel calling Angling and Anxiety to help and advise people to take up the sport to help them combat mental health issues.
He said: “I turned to fishing to overcome my problems last year. I think it is a combination of the relaxation therapy of it and the sense of achievement you get afterwards.”
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