Melbourne fisher Izzy Sesto had a goal of reeling in a 100kg bluefin tuna when she went fishing off Cape Jaffa in south-east South Australia.

Key points:

  • A great white shark bit the tail off a 100kg tuna caught off SA’s coast
  • The shark hung around the fishers’ boat, trying to attack its motors
  • A fisher is warning water users to be cautious as sharks head closer to shore

She described what ended up happening during the recent fishing trip as the “most amazing experience” of her life.

Ms Sesto had been reeling in a fish for 90 minutes, and was about to get it onto the boat, when a “big grey shadow” came over the tuna.

She quickly realised it was a great white shark, also known as a white pointer.

“We freaked out because we thought I was on a shark this whole time,” Ms Sesto said.

“As soon as we realised it was a great white coming over the tuna, I quickly wound a bit harder so we could get it closer to the boat and the shark grabbed the tail of the tuna.

“Because tuna have so much blood, the blood was going on the deck and dripping into the water, so the shark hung around the boat for ages and was grabbing the motors.

“It was quite crazy but pretty cool to see.”

Ms Sesto says she loved the experience with the shark.(Supplied: Izzy Sesto)

‘Epic’ encounter 

A regular fisher at Cape Jaffa, Ms Sesto said she “loved every moment” of the shark encounter last week.

“I’ve been targeting a bluefin over 100kg for a long time, so it was my first one that big, so I was a bit heartbroken because I didn’t think I’d got the 100kg I wanted,” she said.

“But sharks are my favourite species so just seeing that great white so close and swimming around the boat and playing with the motors was pretty epic.”

Ms Sesto said she was not frightened “at all”.

“I’ve seen a fair few sharks while fishing — I’m on the water quite a bit so it doesn’t scare me,” she said.

“I love it. I absolutely love them they’re such cool animals.

“I won’t stop going [to Cape Jaffa], it’s my favourite place ever. The fishing there is unreal.”

The shark hung around the boat while the fishers cleaned up.(Supplied: Izzy Sesto)

Caution needed in warmer weather

The incident came just a few days before a shark attack at Beachport on Monday morning, about 60km south of Cape Jaffa.

It was suspected to also involve a great white shark.

Ms Sesto said although she had seen sharks in the area before, the species was not aggressive.

“I’ve seen a lot of bronze whalers … South Australia’s quite known for sharks,” she said.

Ms Sesto’s catch still weighed 102kg, even without a tail.(Supplied: Izzy Sesto)

“It’s absolutely horrible what happened to [the victim], but it is their water, it is their environment, and you just need to be cautious.

“Especially coming into summer when the water temperatures rise they come closer into shore, so just be wary of that.”

Ms Sesto shared videos of the incident on social media with her “hardcore fisho” followers.

“They think it’s just the best thing that could ever happen…” she said.

“I was pretty excited and everyone else was excited for me.”

And Ms Sesto still fulfilled her dream, with the tuna weighing in at 102kg — even without a tail.

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