‘It was like a miniature Jaws’

Don McCloskey has his 'Jaws' moment. 2807SJ33-JAWS
Don McCloskey has his 'Jaws' moment. 2807SJ33-JAWS

When Ballykelly man Don McCloskey headed off for a quiet day trip fishing in Donegal last Sunday he never imagined his day would end up like a scene from the famous ‘Jaws’ movies.

The long time fisherman hooked a monster Porbeagle shark, which weighed up to a whopping 300Ibs, during a trip off Fanad Head with the Glens Community Association from Limavady.

Don was on the Rathmullan Charter Boat Swilly Explorer skippered by Niall Doherty.

“I knew it would be a good fish and there were a few times that I didn’t think I was going to land it,” he told the ‘Journal’.

The female fish took almost an hour and a half to land after putting up a massive fight.

“It put up some battle and we didn’t see it for 20 minutes. It took about and hour and 20 minutes to get it in and it took four of us to lift it in the boat. It was such a hot day too. It gave a good fight.

“The others on the boat couldn’t believe it and dived for cover when they saw it. It was like a miniature ‘Jaws’.”

Don, who has been fishing for 25 years, has caught plenty of big fish over the years, but never any the size of the one on Sunday.

Don estimates the shark weighed around 299lbs.

“It’s definitely the biggest fish I have ever caught,” he said.

The shark caught off Fanad Head was tagged and released back into the water.

“It is a masterpiece, a beautiful blue-purple colour. It is a piece of art and as a fisherman this is what we live for, big fish like this.”

Don said the other important element for him and other fishermen is the conservation aspect. He stressed that it is important people are aware the fish was released and returned to the water.