James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 4.45'
Flow: 3250 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond


Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 5:42am
Low Tide: 1:00pm

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Australian Angler Catches 13-foot Tiger Shark on Hand Line

When Brendon Hilder ventured out onto Western Australia’s Shelley Beach on Monday, all he wanted to do was chase some salmon. Instead, he spent two hours pulling in a massive 13-foot tiger shark on nothing but a hand line. Of course, with an animal that may have weighed well over 1,000 pounds, it was not something that Hilder did alone.

The angler with his catch.

The angler with his catch.

“An hour and 40 minutes into the fight, I was ready to give up and I had actually called another person over from the beach just to wind the line for me,” he told ABC News.

Struggling to overcome the shark on a 200-pound hand line, Hilder said the fight nearly burnt him out.

“It was very nerve-wracking, knowing it could just spin and latch on at any second,” he said.

Tiger sharks have a fearsome reputation, even with anglers who enjoy fighting the large fish. Relentless and massively powerful, tiger sharks are popular among fishermen for their fighting ability and habit of attacking just about anything. That said, there is also an element of danger when fishing for tiger sharks. Anglers should be aware that the fish can go airborne once hooked, and have been known to bump boats or even jump aboard. Due to their speed in the shallows, tiger sharks are also especially dangerous to anglers fishing from shore.

“I had at least 200m of line out,” Hildern told The West Australian about his unexpected catch. “It burnt me out. I couldn’t even hold my handle, I was that buggered.”

After snapping a few quick photos, Hildern and several bystanders quickly released the shark back into the water—but that was not the end of the matter. In many countries, Australia included, tiger fish are a protected species and there are heavy fines for those that kill or injure these animals. One Tuesday Hildern was approached by wildlife officials and questioned about his recent catch. Since the catch was accidental and Hildern released the shark shortly after he identified it, officials say they have since closed the investigation and found that the angler had done nothing wrong.

And for Hildern, that means that he will be able to enjoy the memories of this epic fight without the threat of a $5,000 fine.