An 18-year-old fisherman has reeled in a great white shark at the Bowentown end of Waihi Beach, not far from where a woman was killed by one last month.
Kaelah Marlow, 19, from Hamilton died after a shark attack at Bowentown on January 7.
Te Awamutu's Tim Fairhurst said he and some friends were on the hunt for bronze whaler sharks in the channel of water between Bowentown Beach and Matakana Island when they snagged something much more powerful.
"We just had a snapper frame out and it wasn't even that long, probably half an hour of being there," he said.
"It was a cool experience that's for sure. We hooked it up and thought it was a bit more power than a normal bronze whaler. It came up on the surface and nearly jumped but we still didn't have a real good look at it.
"It probably took about 400m of line on the first run. It was a pretty good fight for the size of the shark, it's a pretty amazing animal all right."
Once the shark had been reeled in to the boat they towed it to the beach at Matakana Island where they took the hook out, captured some photos and sent the shark on its way.
"It's the most exciting catch I've had, I don't know anyone else who's caught a great white before.
"We reported the catch to the Department of Conservation and the guy there said within a minimum of an hour they start changing colour depending on what terrain they're over. If they're over a reef or deep blue water they'll be a dark colour but if they're in sand and shallow they'll be lighter.
"You get a lot of confusion over the two sharks but that was definitely a great white. It has completely different eyes and the tail and dorsal fin are a lot thicker for the size of the animal."
He said he could not have pulled off the catch without the help of a couple of good friends.
"Chloe Couling was the skipper doing an amazing job and Dan McPhee did an epic deckie job."
Great white sharks are a protected species. The Department of Conservation website says "it is not illegal to accidentally catch a great white shark provided the shark is immediately released alive and unharmed".
Anyone accidentally catching a great white should report the details to DoC.
Fairhurst said he had been fishing his whole life.
"I've been fishing for as long as I remember, my family's into it and I used to do a bit of work on a charter boat called Epic Adventures. I'm doing my butchery apprenticeship now so weekends are for fishing.
"It's just for the love of it. What gets me is catching something you've never caught before or seeing someone else catch their dream fish. When you put someone on to their dream fish it's a pretty special feeling."