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Watch: Great white shark steals fisherman's berley bag

Author
Megan Harvey, NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Thursday, 31 January 2019, 3:37p.m.

Two Taranaki blokes who decided to go for a morning fish at White Cliffs ended up being robbed — by a great white shark.

Steven Bryan captured incredible footage of his first encounter with a 3m (possibly longer) great white approaching the bottom of the cliff and feasting on his berley bag yesterday morning at 6.40am.

They were going to go kayaking in the morning but "luckily" decided to instead to go for a morning fish off the ledge instead.

Bryan and his friend John Riley can be heard on the video being excited by the "horrendous" shark that ended up hanging around for 5 mins as he stole their berley bag.

"It was exciting more than anything, we weren't really scared of it, we were hanging offside the cliff so it was a quite fair way down," Bryan told the Herald.

"It was more than a shock, surprise, a bit of excitement coming out of it seeing something like that so close.

"We are lucky we got footage of it because it was hard to believe."

Bryan said he went to his local Hunting and Fishing afterwards to buy a new berley bag, telling staff that his previous one was stolen by a shark.

"It took a nice chunk out of our berley bag. There was nothing left of it."

Steven Bryan captured incredible footage of his first encounter with a 3m (possibly longer) great white approaching the bottom of the cliff and feasting on his berley bag. Photo / Steven Bryan

Bryan, who goes fishing two to three times a week, said it was the first time he has seen a great shark while fishing.

"We have seen sharks there quite often but nothing sort of comes in that close, not white sharks," he said.

"We see quite a lot of wildlife when we are fishing, octopuses, sharks, whales.

"It was just one of those situations where it's another cool experience while you're out on the water."

Bryan spoke about other times he has encountered sharks trying to steal fish.

"You're bringing up fish that are struggling and that awakens their senses and they think 'okay, what is this now?' It's an easy meal ... it's just like a drive-through, you're giving them takeaways."

The fisherman also wanted to make people aware that sharks are always around whether you are swimming, diving or fishing, but they are not there to cause harm.

"We get them all along the coastline, you see them come in, especially when you're rock fishing and they come in right close. They are not there to hurt you, they are just a bit curious more than anything.

"This one was obviously a bit hungry and he did go into feeding mode ... they are not usually aggressive towards humans.

"If you leave them alone, they're sweet."

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