Monster 15ft shark as heavy as grand piano is caught after 90-minute battle
This is the impressive moment a fisherwoman hauled in a 15ft shark weighing 1,200lb after an epic 90-minute struggle.
Charlene Dillon, 30, had to be strapped into a harness to stop her being pulled overboard as she reeled in the bluntnose sixgill shark.
The huge 85 stone fish – as heavy as a grand piano – was caught at a depth of 200ft off Carrigaholt, County Clare.
It was too big to bring on board the boat, so was released after Charlene brought it to the surface and the crew measured the mighty fish.
Charlene believes she is the only woman to have caught a bluntnose sixgill in Ireland – and might even be the biggest fish ever caught by a woman in Europe.
She said: "I had butterflies in my stomach, praying that my rod would go off.
"When I got a few taps my heart started to race but when the reel screamed from the fish running I was shaking with excitement.
"I struck the rod as hard as I could and then felt this huge pull against me and the skipper said we have a big fish on.
"I was clipped in to a special fighting harness so that you don't get pulled over the side of the boat which could easily happen with a fish this size.
"Once it saw the surface it went fighting back down for the bottom again, but no way was I allowing this fish to bully me – it was the other way round.
"After another half an hour or so I finally managed to get the monster to the surface.
"It was an amazing sight to see this fish half the size of the boat coming to the surface — I was absolutely astounded at the sheer size of it.
"These sharks are a very rare species, and it was definitely the fish of a lifetime.
"I felt like the strongest woman in the world after outwitting and physically challenging this magnificent animal – such a feel of pure success and joy, I was totally elated.
"I've never felt anything like it in my life. What an achievement."
Carer Charlene, from Limerick, usually fishes for pike in fresh water.
The trip on boat Clare Dragoon, from Carrigaholt Pier on May 12, was her first deep sea water session.
She used "big gear for big fish" – an 80lb shark rod and reel with a 100lb break strain braid.
She said that she could feel the sixgill "stuck on the bottom" and fought hard to bring it to the surface.
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