Shark fell for the trick - hook, line, and sinker

The Owaka River, looking towards Tahora Station. - Otago Witness, 25.10.1911.  Copies of picture...
The Owaka River, looking towards Tahora Station. - Otago Witness, 25.10.1911. Copies of picture available from Star Stationery Shop, Lower Stuart St, or
From the Chatham Islands comes the story of an exciting struggle with a huge shark, which for weeks had been pestering the fishermen of the Kaingaroa fishing station, while they were fishing on the Cape Young cod banks. The monster seemed to have an insatiable appetite, and was continually stripping the lines of fish, 3lb lead sinkers, and occasionally sash weights, and playing havoc with the fishing gear generally. The shark, which was nicknamed "Charlie Young," was first hooked by Noyer and party in a launch, but he made light of their efforts to catch him, and got away with the in steel hooks and bait.

Next day another crew, using a large hook made from an old crowbar, baited with a 10lb hapuka, made fast to the monster, which made off at a great rate, towing the heavy 32ft launch for nearly a mile. Finding this of no avail the shark commenced to kick violently, and in his flurry he straightened the great hook as though it were copper wire, and once more was free.

Greed got the better of caution, and a week later "Charlie" was hooked once more, the same hook having been re-shaped and hardened. Two other launches came to the assistance of the captors, and the great shark was got within a few feet of the boat. H. Grennell jun, then gave him a harpoon, which roused him to tremendous fury. In his struggles he snapped both lines and got clear away with both hooks and harpoon. A few days later, however, his end came. The crew of Noyer's launch got him with a hook of 1in steel baited with half of a hapuka, and the shark made off, towing the launch from Cape Young to the Sisters Rocks, a distance of seven miles, before tiring. Even then, when half drowned and secured with lines fore and aft, he proved an ugly customer, snapping his huge jaws and lashing the water to foam with his great tail.

Finally the knives were got to work, and "Charlie" was finished. He was far too weighty to get on board, and the fact that two men were able to stand on his back and work with knives in cutting off his head gives some idea of his great size. Although he was only 18ft in length, he was no less than 11ft 9in in girth. The fishermen got 214 teeth from the jaws of the monster, but many were damaged. The largest teeth measured 1in across the base, and nearly 3in in length.

• The erection of the new orphanage which is to be established at Anderson's Bay by the Presbyterian Social Service Association is to be commenced almost immediately.

The handsome donation of 6000 recently made by Mr R. Glendining has enabled the association to give its scheme a practical turn at a much earlier date than was anticipated.

The committee has now practically approved of the plans. These have been drawn up by Messrs Mason and Wales, and provide for a building of a very substantial design. The building will be a two-storeyed one of brick, and will comprise a central, or administrative, block and two wings. The administrative block will contain the dining room for the staff, office, sewing room, stock room, kitchen, etc, also a small hospital ward. In the centre of the main building there will be a common dining room 44ft by 20ft. Each of the wings will have sleeping and other accommodation for 30 children, the total number of boys and girls to be provided for at the orphanage being 60. - ODT, 14.10.1911.


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