Riverton trio hook seven-foot sevengill

BRIDGET RAILTON
Last updated 05:00 04/02/2014
shark catch
CARTER WILLS
RIPPER CATCH: Riverton residents, from left, Chris Wills, Adam Dawson and Russell Brown hooked a sevengill shark near the same spot where a doctor was attacked then stabbed a shark a week before. 

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A trio of Riverton fishermen got more than they bargained for when they hooked a 2.1m (7-foot) shark while surfcasting near Pahia on Sunday.

The sevengill shark was caught in the same area where, just over a week ago, junior doctor James Grant took on a shark, also thought to be a sevengill.

Happily for the Riverton trio, there were no dramatic bites or stabbings, rather just a group of mates who unexpectedly fished up a bigger-than-usual catch.

Chris Wills, a truck driver by day, said the group were out for a casual spot of fishing when they noticed a couple of sharks close to shore.

"About four of them came right up to the boat ramp," he said.

So they baited a 12mm line and tried their luck, he said.

"It was pretty buzzy - a bit of a rush to bring something like that in straight off the boat ramp."

The shark, while not the biggest one they could see, still took two men to haul it in, he said.

"She's a ripper."

His 6-year-old son Carter Wills was on hand to capture the catch on film afterwards.

Department of Conservation marine adviser Clinton Duffy said sevengill sharks were common in the South Island during summer.

It was quite common for surfcasters to catch them, and numbers generally peaked in December and January, he said.

The sharks, which can grow to up to 3m long, were likely responsible for most of the attacks on hands and feet of swimmers in New Zealand waters, he said.

However, the caught shark won't be nibbling on anyone's limbs any time soon. The fishermen intended to put it to a taste test.

"Some people say you can eat them but others say they're no good," Mr Wills said.

"You gotta try these things, right?"

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- The Southland Times

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