Shark catch of the day for Port au Port woman out cod fishing

'Best experience ever' Jessica Gillis wrote on Facebook as she posted video of her day on the bay last weekend. You'll want to see what grabbed her fishing hook.

Shark bit off fishing line and got away, but Jessica Gillis has the video

Jessica Gillis had a fishing line in one hand, camera in the other, when she saw a shark at the end of her line. (Jessica Gillis/Facebook)

A Port au Port woman out for a day of cod fishing bagged more than she bargained for, and she has the video to prove it.

Jessica Gillis used some strong language when she first realized what was on her handline last weekend, but she retained her composure and used her cell phone to record the experience.

Gillis told CBC Radio's Corner Brook Morning Show Friday that she looked over the side of the boat when she saw something circling in the water — that's when she spotted a shark taking her jigger.

"It happened so fast. It was quite exciting," she said. "I don't remember being out in a boat when I was a kid, so it was pretty much my first fish."

Gillis said she wasn't afraid, even though the shark was thrashing about.

"He was at least six or seven feet. He was big, I must say, and he was really strong actually." 

All that's left of Jessica Gillis's fishing line. (Jessica Gillis/Facebook)

Gillis said, even if she could have pulled the shark into the boat — and was legally allowed to keep it — the creature had other ideas. 

"As soon as I finished recording my video, that's when he bit the line and he just swam away … it was like the span of only 30 seconds to a minute, and then he was gone."

It's the first time Gillis has heard of anyone hand-lining a shark in the region, especially close to shore where the water is only about 18 metres deep. For Gillis and her friends, it was an exciting adventure.

"Best experience ever," she posted on Facebook. "It's kinda like one-in-a-million."

And Gillis isn't the only Newfoundlander to have a close encounter with a shark in 2016. Check out these stories:

With files from Corner Brook Morning Show