Fisherman hugs bull shark that towed around his kayak
A FISHERMAN on the Gold Coast has first-hand proof of why you should stay out of the Gold Coast's canals.
Heath Simmons hooked a 1.5m bull shark on Burleigh Lake while enjoying a beer with mates.
Mr Simmons was so happy with his catch after an hour-long battle that he couldn't help giving it a "hug" before sending it back into the lake behind his house.
"It was a nice fish - about as heavy as a few bags of cement - 60kgs or so," the 34-year-old plumber said.
"(The) line just started screaming off the reel," Mr Simmons said.
"I was just sitting round having a few ales with the boys when it went off. It's absolutely like game fishing from your backyard."
It was an effort to even lift the fish because Mr Simmons said the animal put up an hour-long fight before he could get it on to the beach.
"I tussled with him for an hour, I had to go out with the rod in my kayak because (the shark) had snagged itself," Mr Simmons said.
"Once I got it out of the snags it only took me about 15 minutes to get it in - it was towing me around in the kayak for a bit though."
While the Gold Coast's canals have a deserved reputation as a shark hotspot, North Queensland has been keeping contractors working for the state Shark Control Program busy.
Figures obtained from the State Government's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries revealed that of the 232 sharks caught in Queensland since July, 103 of them were caught between Mackay and Cairns. Of those, 38 were bigger than 2m.
Townsville's beaches were particularly 'sharky', with 52 captures. The largest was also recorded there - a tiger shark more than 4m long snared at Radical Bay on Magnetic Island.
There were 24 sharks caught off the Gold Coast and 18 off the Sunshine Coast. Tiger sharks (93) were the most common.