Cockburn Sound close encounter

A Cooloongup man filmed a mako shark.
A Cooloongup man filmed a mako shark.

Shipbuilder Grant Bond (45) started kayak fishing this year, adding the sport to daredevil hobbies including hang gliding, windsurfing and scuba diving.

About 10am on March 10, Mr Bond was 3km offshore from Point Peron when he saw a ‘big, dark shape’ in the water, which he initially thought was a white pointer.

‘The shark made a few passes and was rubbing up against the kayak,’ he said.

After the shark rammed the kayak, Mr Bond gave him a tap with his paddle, then his camera, to try to scare it.

‘I didn’t want to hurt him, I just wanted to scare him off,’ he said.

Eventually, the shark went on its way, but not before spooking the fisherman .

‘I found out later that makos are extremely aggressive, and they’re among the fastest of all the sharks,’ he said.

‘I haven’t been out since; I think I need a bit of a breather.’

Mr Bond hooked a 2m tiger shark last month that towed him 3km before he cut the line when he realised the catch was not a spanish mackerel or tuna.

Mr Bond, who has a variety of safety equipment including an EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radio beacon), urged other fishermen to ensure they had the right kit before heading out on the water.

He said the incident was ‘definitely a case of the hunter becoming the hunted’, but laughed at the notion that nature was taking its revenge.

Mr Bond has only ever taken one fish home for dinner.

‘Catching them is great, but letting them go is even better,’ he said.

Mr Bond, who plans to buy a shark shield and get back out on the water soon, encouraged anyone interested in kayak fishing to visit www.yakfishwest.com.

Department of Fisheries regional manager Tony Cappelluti said whenever a person either saw a shark or experienced an encounter with one, they should report it to Water Police on 9442 8600.

Shark and Ray Sustainability senior research scientist Rory McAuley said the shark appeared to be interested in the bait and the berley, and was not acting |’aggressively’.

‘Like other large species of sharks, makos can cause injury and are best left alone,’ Dr McAuley said.