WATCH | Angler lands and releases 294kg shark after 45-minute tussle

Jace Govender with the 294kg grey shark he caught off Scottburgh on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast on Tuesday
GREY MONSTER: Jace Govender with the 294kg grey shark he caught off Scottburgh on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast on Tuesday

All that seasoned Durban angler Jace Govender used was his skill and a tiny sardine to reel in a nearly 300kg shark at a south coast beach on Tuesday.

Govender was involved in a 45-minute battle with the grey shark before he caught and released it a short while later at Scottburgh beach.

“This was not my biggest catch — the largest shark I caught was 315kg,” he told TimesLIVE.

I used sardine as bait to reel in the shark.

“When I measured it, it was 269cm, so that is equivalent to about 294kg. I use the measurement system to average the weight out.

I’m among an elite group of fishermen who have caught fish over 300kg from the shore.

Govender said grey sharks were common along the KwaZulu-Natal coastline.

“They do follow the sardines from the deep. They are not man-eaters or dangerous. It will attack you to protect itself.

“Usually guys will sit for hours with a fish like that.

“It took me 45 minutes, because I have spent a lot of time catching big sharks, so it does come with experience.”

Govender had his sights set on catching a shark when he started out his day.

“I catch and release, it’s all done with no harm to the shark.

I don’t pull the shark out too far from the waterline, simply because they are heavy beasts.

“If they are on sand, it will put pressure on their organs.

“We catch them close to the water, in the shortest time possible. There’s a quick picture, the hook is removed and it is taken back into the water.”

Govender said shark fishing was a huge sport in SA.

“This weekend there were scores of people targeting sharks,” he said.

Seine netters made substantial catches of sardines along the south coast on Tuesday.

“It was another amazing day of sardine run activity,”   Ugu South Coast Tourism CEO Phelisa Mangcu  said.

“Big shoals were seen along the south coast, with netting taking place at Scottburgh and Pennington beaches.

“Visitors have enjoyed the chance to witness the incredible ocean action that is so unique to our shores.”

Mangcu said though it was not business as usual for tourism on the south coast, the sardine run brought “lots of economic benefits for the local communities”. 

We’re so grateful to those people who have been coming through to support our commercial anglers by buying crates of sardines.

“There’s also been a lot of support for other local businesses, such as restaurants and cafes, and this is really welcome during these challenging economic times.”

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