A Tauranga fisherman captured the dramatic moment he hooked a 3m bronze whaler shark which leapt into the air frighteningly close to his boat.

Elliot Gordon and his mate Paul Adlington set off early on Christmas Eve morning to pull in some snapper off their 4.8m boat.

And things were going brilliantly, with the fish ferociously going for their bait, in Tauranga Harbour.

"Suddenly they went off the bite and it just went quiet," he told the Herald on Sunday.


Then something huge took his mackerel head bait and the line started tearing off his reel.

"You can hear it on the video -- it was just screaming out line, it was just going for it," he said.

"I instantly thought 'I've definitely hooked a shark'."

The shark, which Mr Gordon said was a bronze whaler of about 10ft (3m), leapt out of the water once before spitting the hook.

"I thought 'hopefully I won't catch that again' so I threw out another head and said to my mate 'you should probably film it just in case'. So we got out our phones and started filming and sure enough it went for it a second time."

Mr Gordon had the shark on his line for more than 30 minutes and it leapt out of the water several times.

Tauranga fishermen Paul Adlington and Elliot Gordon. Photo / Elliot Gordon
Tauranga fishermen Paul Adlington and Elliot Gordon. Photo / Elliot Gordon

"It was scary because it was jumping quite close to the boat. When it gets that close you're hoping it's not going to jump into the boat," he said.

"If that happened, I would be jumping out of the boat and swimming for the shore."


As well as being scared, he said the adrenalin was coursing through his body.

"I was excited -- you can hear it in my voice on the video, I was screaming," he said.

"We actually had guys coming past us on their wakeboards and I thought 'if they knew what was underneath them right now they wouldn't be out here'."

It was not the first time he had seen bronze whalers in Tauranga Harbour.

"There's bigger ones up there -- I've hooked up to one that's the same size as the boat. There's a family of them up there and the mother's easily 16ft (4.8m). That definitely scares the hell out of you when she comes up the back of the boat chasing your burley trail."