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.
Posted by Jessica René Gillis on Sunday, August 28, 2016
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."
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: