Warm sea temperatures are a blessing for swimmers in the Western Bay, but the warmer waters are also bringing unwanted guests closer to shore.
Sharks have been seen roaming close to shore and have caused havoc for swimmers, surfers and fishermen.
In the past two weeks, Bay angler Campbell Carter has landed two bronze whaler sharks and hooked a third. The largest shark he saw was a 2.5m, 100kg beast.
"There's been a lot this season. I've never seen as many as this before," he said.
Mr Carter caught the two bronze whaler sharks off Arataki beach. He hooked the third off Banks Ave, in Mount Maunganui.
"I've hooked them in about 30 metres offshore ... but they're coming in to about waist deep water," he said.
"They're everywhere. Every single time I go out I see at least one.
"I think it's partly because of the La Nina weather, the warmer water brings them in close."
Mr Carter works at The Big Fish in Mount Maunganui.
He said the peak time for sharks to come to shore was from about Labour Weekend to mid-February, adding that swimmers and surfers should be aware of them but not scared.
"I want people to know they're out there but they shouldn't be worried," he said. "They're not going to harm people."
Air Discovery instructor Aiden Campbell said it was common for sharks to roam Western Bay of Plenty waters at this time of year. He said the most common sites for shark sightings were off Omanu beach, near Matakana Island and in the harbour entrance.
"On a hot day it's pretty certain you'll see at least one or two every time you fly," he said.
"In two weeks I've probably seen about 10-15 sharks. It's probably been the same shark sometimes though."
Mr Campbell said he "made a habit" of looking out for sharks while flying and said it was normal at this time of year to have them swim close to shore.
Two years ago he saw about 40 sharks clustered together off Matakana Island.
"That was the most I've ever seen and I haven't seen anything like it since."
HAVE YOU SEEN A SHARK?
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