Shark shock for spear fisherman (+video)

By Cassandra Mason

Spear fisherman Bruce Knight got a shock when a two-metre shark ripped a Kingfish from the end of his speargun.

Knight was fishing with five divers at South Rocks, just past Aerial Reef off the Gisborne coast, when he caught last Wednesday's encounter on camera.

He had just speared a 25kg kingfish when the Mako shark decided he also wanted in on the catch.

Knight said he was stuck in the water while the Mako circled, "harrassing" him and taking chunks out of the bloodied fish.

"I had to swim to the boat and two divers jumped in the water ... and when they jumped in, (the shark) got interested in the boys. But, she was mostly just interested in the fish, like us.

"You can almost see her working out, 'How come this thing's not sinking?'"

Knight said when the shark came in close, he didn't feel threatened.

"She wasn't too big, a couple more metres and I would have been freaking out a bit."

Knight was left with about "50 per cent" of the fish, which they later smoked and ate, he said.

While sightings of Bronze Whalers in the area are common, Mako sightings were more rare.

"It's a route for Great White Sharks, which normally come through in the winter" he said.

"(Spearfishers) usually run into (Bronze Whalers) but I've only seen one and a lot of divers haven't seen any. They're pretty elusive."

Knight started to film his dives after his wife got him a GoPro camera for his birthday, which he has mounted on the front of his spear gun.

Knight and his friends were out with Dive Tatapouri, a local charter run by Dean Savage which also runs stingray feeding and shark cage diving.


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