A hammerhead was caught off Fraser Island.
A hammerhead was caught off Fraser Island.

SHARK SNAPS: Big game fisher's surprise catch and release

WHILE fishing for big game off the coast of Fraser Island, it's not unusual to haul a few sharks in.

Bribie Island's Kurt Donald was fishing from the beach last week and among his catches, which included mackerel and giant trevally, there were several large sharks in the mix.

The biggest one the group caught was a 4.3 metre tiger shark.

"Sharks are bycatch," Mr Donald said.

When fishing, the group used big equipment because of the likelihood of reeling in a shark, he said.

With smaller lines and hooks, the shark was likely to pull all the line off the reel.

The catch off Fraser Island.
The catch off Fraser Island.

Using appropriate equipment meant they could bring the shark in and release it properly, Mr Donald said.

From dusky whalers to hammerheads, there were plenty to see.

"We don't hurt the sharks," he said.

"We don't pull them out of the water.

"We measure them and get the hooks out if it's safe."

Mr Donald  said it wasn't unusual to see the big creatures being caught, but when the photos were shared on Facebook by his sister last week, they quickly went viral.

Mr Donald said the photos gave a glimpse into what big-game fishing was really like.