40kg shark caught on old rod
This is the story of a 2.3-metre blue shark that got away - and then came back.
About 6pm yesterday, Marc Jensen, along with wife Tessa and friends Andrew Campbell and Brandon Griffin, decided to try their luck at fishing off the New Brighton Pier.
The self-confessed ''average fisherman'' dangled his grandfather's 30-year-old rod, held together with insulation tape and a cable tie, off the pier.
He watched as his friends caught some small fish and his rod remained motionless.
When the rod's tip finally dipped lightly, Jensen believed it was just a wave, but the bend in the rod said otherwise.
His small spinning reel started screaming and the rod arched violently. ''All hell broke loose.''
Jensen said a tug-of-war ensued, with chairs, rods and fishing equipment being moved out of the way as he ran back and forth across the pier.
''I ran from one side of the pier to the other,'' he said. ''It was kind of surreal.''
Jensen ''desperately'' passed the rod around the lamp posts along the pier, with the help of his friends, to try to keep up with the shark.
''The four of us, unseasoned, far from skilful and rather clumsy on my part, all saw the dark outline of what looked like the spawn of Moby Dick,'' he said.
Thirty minutes after the first tell-tale tug, the shark swam under the pier.
Jensen's line grated over the concrete as the line snapped.
''It was so violent and I knew that the fish had come off,'' he said.
''I screamed at the top of my lungs ... We were raging that we hadn't caught it.''
Back on the pier, Jensen retied and baited his line.
Meanwhile, Campbell was down on the beach and spotted a beached blue shark.
He called his friends.
Jensen, his wife and Griffin bolted to the beach.
A blue shark lay there with Jensen's hook in its mouth.
As it was unable to swim, they decided to take it home instead of releasing it.
Back home, they cleaned, weighed and measured the shark.
It was 2.3m long and weighed about 40 kilograms.
The mechanical engineering student will have a ''fish and chip'' party tonight, with any fish left over being put into the sea to ''recycle it''.
The experience showed the group that ''you don't need the best gear and experience to give it a go''.
And Jensen hoped it would convince his wife to go fishing more often.