Graham Smith, a saltwater kayak angler and YouTuber from County Donegal in Ireland, is no stranger to big game fishing in the cold waters of the North Atlantic. But Smith won’t soon forget this early spring hookup after he took a swim thanks to the brute strength of a porbeagle shark.
The bracing dip may have cost Smith dearly in terms of lost equipment, but his footage also earned some Internet fame. Most importantly, he and his support crew handled the capsizing with relative grace, and it didn’t dissuade him from hooking up some more big game.
Extreme Kayak Fishing for Porbeagle Shark
“I go fishing for shark a couple of times a year off Donegal in Ireland,” Smith explained to the Mirror after his footage was picked up by the British tabloid. “On that particular day, it was calm inside the headland but once you got outside it was rough.”
Porbeagle sharks are found in the North Atlantic, growing to 2.5 meters in length and roughly 300 lbs. They are prized for their fight as game fish and are closely related to the salmon shark found in the North Pacific. As Smith told the Mirror, “The porbeagle is a very clever shark. They’re notoriously difficult.”
This particular porbeagle lived up to its reputation. “About 15 to 20 minutes I’d been fighting him. Towards the end of the fight, he took me out where it was very bad.”
“The porbeagle is a very clever shark. They’re notoriously difficult.”
“Some lads that I know were there, so I gave them a shout and said, ‘Can you give me a quick tow out of this rough stuff? Then I can get the shark up and let him go.’ But the shark caused a swell before we were ready and it just flipped the kayak.”
Thankfully, Smith’s support crew sprang into action and helped him to quickly right and re-board his craft. “It’s one of those things, unfortunately,” he says of the wily shark’s victory.
All is Not Lost With This Porbeagle Shark
Smith says in the Mirror that he lost about 430 British pounds ($600 USD) of kit in the incident, including a GoFish camera, GoPro and his Huawei P30 cell phone. “Thankfully, most of the electronics are all tied on and waterproof. It’s only happened twice now in 13 or 14 years of kayak fishing. Another 15 minutes and I’d have had him up and let him go.”