You’re gonna need a bigger boat! Moville man Graham Smith unfazed after close encounter with porbeagle shark - a cousin of the Great White

Not everyone can say they’ve been pulled off their kayak and into the water by a shark - but for Graham Smith, it was all in a day’s fishing.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 5:39 pm
Kayak angler Graham Smith from Moville with a Porbeagle on a previous expedition. (Picture by Martin Moloney)
Kayak angler Graham Smith from Moville with a Porbeagle on a previous expedition. (Picture by Martin Moloney)

The Moville man fishes for porbeagle sharks - which belong to the same family as the Great White - at least once or twice a year.

Last year, the ‘Journal’ reported how he had battled for over three hours with a 300lb female porbeagle, which rammed his kayak.

While Graham won the battle that day, he wasn’t so lucky recently, when a tussle with one around 200-300lbs ended up with him being dragged into the water.

Graham was off the Inishowen coastline in the kayak and was waiting for the water to settle down.

However, it didn’t and earlier in the day, a shark took the bait and ended up towing him out to where the current was.

His friends were in a nearby boat and Graham told the ‘Journal’ how he asked if they would give him a ‘quick tow.’

But, ‘the shark went one way, the boat went the other’ and Graham ended up being pulled into the water.

A Porbeagle - a member of the Lamnidae family of sharks and as such a close relative of the Great White.

While the porbeagle shark might look unnerving, with its sharp rows of teeth, Graham told the ‘Journal’ how they ‘wouldn’t really be interested in eating you.’

They could, though, give you a good injury and are ‘grumpy.’

“They can get stroppy and can be quite cheeky. They’d get annoyed if they take the bait and let it go and they’d come up at times to give you a good look. They also come sometimes near the kayak and show off.”

While some porbeagles weigh up to 500lbs, the ones Graham has encountered have been around the 200-300lb range. He said that while they would not be as long as the kayak, they are ‘extremely wide.’

Graham was lucky in that he was able to get back into the upturned kayak but some of his equipment was not and he lost cameras and his phone.

Graham releases any porbeagle he hooks, so the offending shark was able to swim off after Graham’s ordeal. Graham himself has become a bit of a celebrity after the encounter, appearing in national media. He hasn’t been put off fishing and told how it’s ‘great to see them swimming around.’

There are numerous species swimming in the waters around the Inishowen coastline, including the much more docile basking shark - which can be the size of a double decker bus. Graham revealed how he saw also saw a pod of dolphins recently. Orcas were also spotted at Culdaff in September last year.