25FT MONSTER SHARK CAUGHT OFF CO CLARE; Proud angler wrestled with European record-breaker for 75 minutes.
Byline: MIRROR REPORTER
A FISHERMAN has told how he caught a monster 1,500lb shark off the Co Clare coast - the biggest ever landed in Europe.
Ben Bond spent 90 minutes struggling to reel in the 25ft long sixgill after it took his bait.
The beast from the deep was eventually bought alongside the 40ft-long boat the 26-year-old was on and turned out to be more than half its length.
It was impossible to pull the huge catch on board but experienced skipper Luke Aston used the recognised formula of measuring its length and two-metre girth to calculate its weight.
Builder Luke said the shark was at least 1,500lb - 107stone - which makes it the biggest ever caught in not only Ireland or Britain but also in Europe.
After releasing the sixgill safe and well, exhausted Ben, from Ilchester, near Yeovil, Somerset, made it back to port and celebrated with a beer.
After making the catch on Thursday he said he was "proud".
After 75 Ben added: "It was absolutely massive.
"When it first took my bait it felt like a very heavy weight. I thought it would be really hard to lift it off the bottom but the real fight was when it was in mid-water.
"After about 75 minutes I saw it near the surface and my eyes nearly popped out.
"Its tail was at one end of the boat and the head was over halfway up the boat.
"It had a big set of jaws. There have been very few attacks on humans by sixgill sharks but that's mainly because of how deep they live.
"I wouldn't have wanted to go into the water with it.
"I was knackered and had to have a sit down.
"Afterwards we went back to port and had a pint.
"I am still buzzing now and very proud I have caught one of the biggest, if not the biggest sharks in Europe." Ben was on a three-day fishing trip to Carrigaholt, Co Clare, with friend Ben Carter, who himself caught an impressive 1,000lb sixgill.
The shark - hexanchus griseus in Latin - spends much of its time in deep water and as a result has very little interaction with humans, with only one reported attack in 500 years.
They feed on other fish including sharks, skates and rays, bony fish, squid and crabs. They have also been known to scavenge on dead animals including seals.
The species has razor-sharp teeth and resemble fossil sharks from the Triassic period.
After about 75 minutes I saw it and my eyes nearly popped out BEN BOND on his record shark catch off clare 107 How many stone the record-breaking sixgill shark weighed
WATER SIGHT The sixgill caught off coast of Co Clare
BEAST Shark next to 40ft boat
REELY TOUGH Ben struggles with the beast
ON THE HOOK Shark is brought boat-side