Claudia Sánchez was fishing for the first time in Northland's Rangiputa Harbour when she caught a kingfish, but that wouldn't end up being her biggest catch.
"I felt like this really strong tug on the line and I thought it was the king fish. But, I almost fell into the water, so my friend had to hold on to my waist and then we saw the sharks."
The incredible encounter, captured on video, shows two sharks, three to four metres long, fighting over the kingfish on Sánchez's line.
"I was on the boat with my friend and his dad, they're very keen fisherman. They've never seen anything like that before in their lives."
She said the encounter happened only ten minutes away from shore where people were swimming.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Sánchez gets sea sick, so it was her first time fishing on a boat and it wasn't until the battle was over that she realised how rare it was.
"(I thought) this must happen to everyone on the first time they go fishing, but it was crazy."
Sánchez lives in Auckland and was in Northland staying with friends who had already spotted a shark the day before when they went out diving for scallops.
Sánchez suspects that she wasn't the only person that lost a fish to sharks in the harbour that day.
"A lot of people were just catching fish and then just losing it, so maybe it was just sharks that were eating (them)."
"It was the catch and a loss of a lifetime," Sánchez said.