Mick De Rooy holds up the 100kg bronze whaler shark he caught while beach fishing on Fraser Island. He later released the big bopper back into the surf.
Mick De Rooy holds up the 100kg bronze whaler shark he caught while beach fishing on Fraser Island. He later released the big bopper back into the surf. Contributed

Mate, they're biting today!

HAULING in a 100kg bronze whaler shark from the shore with a 30-pound line is the stuff fishing tall tales are made of.

So it's lucky Mick De Rooy has photographic evidence.

The Townsville man capped off a holiday to Fraser Island with his wife and two daughters by catching the two-metre giant off the beach of Happy Valley yesterday.

Mick said he had watched groups of sharks swimming close to shore to gorge on schools of large tailor and jewfish all week and became determined to catch one.

The experienced spear fisherman rigged up a small rod and reel with remnants at his friend's beach house and borrowed equipment from neighbours.

The thrills came quick and fast as he first snagged a smaller shark and spent 40 minutes trying to reel it in, but it got away.

Disappointment soon faded when Mick caught the much larger shark, which took an hour and a number of scratches and bruises to get to shore.

"It was swimming right along the beach and you could see the shark in the waves coming in and then fighting to take off in the other direction," he said.

"Everyone got a buzz out of it. By the time I landed it and looked around, I had about 150 people standing around watching."

Determined to get a holiday happy snap, three spectators assisted to bring the shark to shore by jumping on it "Steve Irwin-style".

"One of them got slapped in the face with a fin and they were struggling with its weight," Mick said.

Despite onlookers suggesting the shark should become dinner, Mick decided to release the "amazing animal" back into the ocean.

Closer to home, Queensland Surf Life Saving's Westpac Rescue Helicopters have continued daily patrols from Bribie Island to Double Island Point and through Wide Bay to Rainbow Beach.

Helicopter crewman Paul Brennan said three big sharks were spotted close to shore off Teewah beach yesterday.



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