LOCAL fisherman Dan Binns was amazed to have a whale shark come up and swim around his boat at Montague Island on Tuesday.
Dan was out fishing by himself at the island and most of the other boats had left at around 10.30am as the weather was forecast to deteriorate.
He was on the northeast corner, when the shark materialised from the depths with his first instinct thinking it was a big white pointer.
He was stoked to realise it was indeed a large whale shark, about 12 to 14 foot in length.
The shark circled his boat in a relaxed fashion before swimming off.
The water was 22 degrees and a beautiful shade of blue. He was able to get some great footage on his GoPro camera.
He has since notified local Narooma Fisheries officers who were keen to get some of his footage and photos.
There have been whale shark sightings on the Far South Coast in recent years.
The Latrobe Valley Scuba Club posted on YouTube footage of a whale shark they filmed off Bermagui in July 2013.
Then the year before in February 2012, people on the Tathra Wharf were treated to a rare sight of a whale sharking swimming past with a couple of locals jumping and swimming with the shark.
Here’s our report from the time:
Whale shark a rare treat for Tathra Wharf anglers
ANGLERS and tourists on the Tathra Wharf were treated to the spectacular sight of a massive whale shark slowly cruising past on Wednesday night.
Two local young men who had been fishing off the wharf actually jumped in and swam a short distance with the massive fish, estimated to be around 10-metres long, an experience normally reserved for those who travel to tropical locations such as WA’s Ningaloo Reef.
The Far South Coast is at the southerly boundary of the whale shark’s migration, but they have been encountered as far south as Eden, and the water at Tathra this week is a warm 22 degrees, with most likely an abundance of plankton attracting the distance-swimming filter feeder.
Wednesday’s whale shark was last seen by the dozens of people on the wharf swimming toward the beach and north on Tathra Bay.
The Tathra Wharf has seen its fair share of big fish action in recent weeks.
One angler fishing for small tuna-like bonito with a popper-style lure hooked a marlin, with the crowd again witnessing the big fish speed off into the distance with the hapless angler powerless to stop the creature with his relatively puny gear.
There has also been a fair bit of heavy gear fishing going on, despite the local council ordinance specifically banning shark fishing from the wharf.
Several small bronze whalers and hammerheads have been caught on whole fish baits, brought up onto the wharf and dispatched by the anglers, much to the amazement and occasional distress from spectators.
At least one larger whaler shark has been landed and released from the rocks adjacent to the wharf, while there was also one report of an endangered grey nurse shark hooked and brought up to the surface at the wharf before being released, although this has not been verified.