Record breaking monster shark caught off west Cornwall
A monster blue shark has been caught off the coast of Penzance.
The creature has smashed all records for the largest blue shark caught in British waters, weighing in at 248lbs.
Robin 'Chippy' Chapman, skipper of the Penzance-based Bite Adventures helped reel in the shark.
"We knew it was big but didn't realise how big," he said.
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"When we found out we were gobsmacked and measured it twice just in case we had got it wrong."
The shark was caught by Bob Pollard from St Neot, near Liskeard. And although he could have been in for a cash reward for breaking the shark record, he agreed that it should be released back in to the water.
"We take it out, take a picture then it goes straight back," said Chippy.
"There was a reward for breaking the record but I have a 100 per cent catch and release policy and Bob agreed that he wanted to release it back into the water and not kill it."
Using mackerel as a tempting bait, Mr Pollard, with the help of two others, caught the blue shark in waters around 11 miles off Penzance.
"It was just massive," he told the Daily Mail, adding that reeling in the big bite took a lot of effort. "I knew it was going to be a decent sized fish, much bigger than any shark I had caught.
"When it broke the surface Chippy described it as a pig of a fish.
"After we did all the measurements I gave it a slap on the back to say goodbye. I was still shaking at that point."
The creature was hauled from the water by its tail - although Chippy prefers to be at the sharper end of the shark.
"I grabbed the tail but I usually grab the head first because I know I have got the most dangerous bit in my hands," said the skipper, adding that Bite Adventures sea fishing charter company has been running out of Penzance for around a decade.
"It measured 98 inches long and 45 inches around the girth."
Chippy added that he catches and releases over 300 sharks every year and this latest haul beat his previous largest by 60lbs.
"We have come close to lots of different records with different fish but this is the one I always wanted," he said.
"This one was a monster."
Although sometimes described as a killer shark, Chippy said the creatures are very timid and would swim away if you jumped into the water beside them.
"People try to label them but when they swim around the boat you could just touch them," he said, adding that despite this the sharks would still protect themselves.
"If you pull them out of their own territory they need to protect themselves and, if you let them, they will bite you."