In a rare feat, a 30-year-old fisherwoman in Ireland used a lightweight rod and line to reel in a massive 1,200-pound shark on May 12.
The 15-feet long giant was caught at a depth of more than 200 feet off the coast of Carrigaholt. It was so big that it couldn’t be brought on the boat. It was measured and released back into the ocean, reported the Irish Mirror.
Charlene Dillon was on an angling trip off the coast of Clare and according to her, it is the biggest fish caught by a lady in Europe.
“I am the only lady ever to catch one of these sharks in Ireland and it is the biggest fish caught by a lady in Europe as far as I am aware. I’ve been getting a lot of messages and friend requests since the news broke,” she said.
Dillion said she booked an angling trip with an angling boat called Clare Dragoon. The boat is owned by Luke Aston who runs Carrigaholt Sea Angling center—one of Ireland’s premier deep sea fishing charter providers.
“We set out from Carrigaholt pier on a beautiful sunny morning. It was my first time going sea angling from a boat even though I have been fishing all my life. I am a member of Limerick and District Anglers Association and I usually fish for pike and coarse fish,” she told the Irish Mirror.
The crew stopped at the mouth of River Shannon to catch some bait fish and then made their way to Atlantic for big fish.
“After the skipper anchored up the boat, we then got our tackle ready. Big fish needs big gear, so I used Penn 80-pound class shark rod and Penn shark reel with 100-pound breaking strain braid, which went to a 400-pound monofilament leader with 400-pound wire trace with a 6/0 shark hook baited with a 3-pound pollock,” she said.
Dillon said that when she felt a big pull against her, the skipper said they had a big fish.
“I was clipped into 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,” she said.
It wasn’t easy to land such a giant fish and Dillon soon realized it. “It was about 1:45 p.m. when I struck the fish and it really felt like I was stuck on the bottom for a while. After a while, the fish started to move a bit and now the real fight started to get it up from 200 feet to the boat.
“It was a very tough battle with the fish coming up a bit and then dive back down again for me to start all over again. The skipper gave me great advice while playing the fish out and helped me to get control of the fish,” she told the Irish Mirror.
Irish woman catches 15 foot shark off the coast of Co Clarehttps://t.co/t3OQ6p7rbu
— Irish Daily Mirror (@IrishMirror) May 16, 2019
She said she was “astounded” to see a fish on the surface as big as half the size of the boat. “I was a bit nervous, it was like looking at a real-life version of jaws because it looked a bit like a Great White Shark at first,” she said.
She said the fish she reeled in was a rare species and was a “fish of a lifetime.” She was also very happy that she could return it back unhurt to where it had come from. “I felt very proud of myself,” she said.