Mind you, it wasn’t without a 90-minute struggle – and Dillon, 30, even had to be strapped in to a harness to stop her being pulled overboard as she brought the gigantic shark in to the boat.
Charlene had to be strapped into a harness to catch it. Credit: SWNS
The huge 85st fish, which was as heavy as a grand piano, was caught at a dept of 200ft.
It was so large, it couldn’t even be lumbered on board the boat, so Charlene brought it to the surface for the crew to measure it, before it was eventually released.
Charlene, a carer from Limerick, believes she is the only woman to have caught a bluntnose sixgill in Ireland – and says the shark might even be the biggest fish ever caught by a woman in Europe.
She said: “I had butterflies in my stomach, praying that my rod would go off.
“When I got a few taps my heart started to race but when the reel screamed from the fish running I was shaking with excitement.
The shark weighed a whopping 85st. Credit: SWNS
“I struck the rod as hard as I could and then felt this huge pull against me and the skipper said we have a big fish on.
“I was clipped in to a special fighting harness so that you don’t get pulled over the side of the boat which could easily happen with a fish this size.
“Once it saw the surface it went fighting back down for the bottom again, but no way was I allowing this fish to bully me – it was the other way round.
“After another half an hour or so I finally managed to get the monster to the surface.
“It was an amazing sight to see this fish half the size of the boat coming to the surface — I was absolutely astounded at the sheer size of it.
“These sharks are a very rare species, and it was definitely the fish of a lifetime.
Charlene is usually more used to catching freshwater pike. Credit: SWNS
“I felt like the strongest woman in the world after outwitting and physically challenging this magnificent animal – such a feel of pure success and joy, I was totally elated.
“I’ve never felt anything like it in my life. What an achievement.”
Charlene usually fishes for pike in fresh water, and her trip on 12 May on the Clare Dragoon boat was her first deep sea water session.
She said she used ‘big gear for big fish’, having opted for an 80lb shark rod and reel with a 100lb break strain braid.
Charlene said she could feel the sixgill ‘stuck on the bottom’ and had to fight hard to bring it to the surface.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS