Two brothers got the fright of their life when a great white shark came up with their fishing line near Wellington yesterday.
Craig Simpson, 36, and his brother Daryl were fishing in 15 metre-deep water in Pukerua Bay about 300 metres from the Kapiti shore when they said a shark bigger than their 12-foot dinghy came up with a cod on their line about 5pm.
Craig Simpson said it slowly rolled on its side and looked at them with its beady black eye.
''If I reached out I could have touched him if I wanted to, but there was no way I was going to do that.
''I was really worried at first the way it was looking at us.''
Simpson said they had seen many sharks in their 15 years of fishing, but never a great white.
They were using a small rod and reel to try and catch snapper or blue cod for a Christmas meal. Barracuda had been stealing their fish all day, so they got a shock when their competition got bigger.
''I don't scare very often or easily, but this is one time I was actually panicking.''
He was concerned it would tip the small boat over, so was thankful his 3-year-old son, who was with them earlier, was back on shore.
While it was "quite scary", the shark was beautiful, he said.
They saw a panicking diver come up sounding his emergency alarm a bit earlier, and they now believe he may have seen the shark too.
Simpson said he was due to go for a dive today, but was no longer very keen to go.
Department of Conservation Kapiti/Wellington duty officer Lisa Clapcott said general advice to the public dealing with marine life like sharks was to avoid harrassing or pursuing them and to stay well away.
- The Dominion Post