Fisherman lands 250-kilogram bull shark in Hastings Rivers

Port Macquarie fisherman Denis Rivers hauled in this 250kg bull shark in the Hasting River with the help of friend Howie Griffin. Photo: Supplied Denis Rivers hauled in this 250kg bull shark in the Hasting River with the help of a friend. Photo: Supplied

The two words uttered by fisherman Denis Rivers when he hauled in this massive beast will be left to your imagination but there is nothing fake about the bull shark in this story.

The Port Macquarie fisherman, who refuses to give away his favourite spot to drop a line, was left cut and bleeding after a one-hour struggle with the monster, The Port Macquarie News reports.

With nothing between him and the prize catch but his rod and a sturdy line, Mr Rivers said he fought for what felt like hours from the banks of the Hastings River before he got his first glimpse of what he had actually landed.

When the three-metre bull shark emerged into the shallows, Mr Rivers could do nothing more than call out for help.

“There was a fellow up the road in a campervan. When I got it onto the bank I had to yell out and wake him up to come down and help me,” Mr Rivers said.

“When he first saw it, he said ‘holy f—‘ and we tried to move it but couldn’t.

“I called my mate Howie Griffin who drove down to where we were and we pulled it out of the river with his car.”

The story had a happy ending for the shark as it was released soon after being caught.

Mr Rivers said there are plenty of large bull sharks in the river with his average catch between 1.5 and 1.8 metres. But he says this is not the biggest he has caught.

“It’s not uncommon, I’ve caught heaps of sharks in the river – I have hooked fish bigger than this one.”

The shark is thought to have weighed an impressive 250 kilograms and, by the size of its girth, Mr Rivers believes it may well have been pregnant.

“They often come in from the ocean and swim up the river to drop their pups and then go again,” he said.

The following day, Mr Rivers was still recovering from the physical struggle with his prize catch.

“She put up a bit of a fight. I’m still sore now. All my hands are cut up,” he said.

While he remains coy about just where on the Hastings River he caught the “big one”, Mr Rivers is happy to share his bait of choice.

“I just use a bit of eel – they love it,” he said.

The Department of Primary Industries says bull sharks penetrate far into river systems for extended periods where they sometimes breed.

Females normally give birth in estuaries and river mouths and the young can remain in the river for up to five years.

Bull sharks by nature are aggressive and prefer to swim in shallow, murky inshore waters. The DPI says they will eat “almost anything”. */]]>

Port Macquarie News

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