By Tui Benjamin
A madcap Aussie fisherman has been filmed punching and playing TUG OF WAR with an angry 10ft great white shark – before telling it to f*** off.
Fearless David Wilks, 46, wasn’t fazed when the cheeky white pointer grabbed his net in its mouth as he fished off the coast of Port Pirie, South Australia, in December.
The dad-of-five’s son Nic, 20, captured unbelievable footage of the 300kg animal refusing to let go even after David jabbed it on the nose and attempted to pull the net from its clutches.
Game store worker and musician Nic, who also works with his dad as a fisherman, said: “We had set out net off to catch snapper when we realised there was a white pointer swimming inside and eating the fish.
“We didn’t want him getting tangled as they’re a protected species so dad tried to roll him out of the net but he stayed swimming around and as the circle got smaller he got caught once again.
“Dad tried to roll him out again but he came back and was hanging around so dad reached into the water and gave him a quick jab on the nose thinking that would stun him and make him bugger off.
“It didn’t go to plan because the shark didn’t like that – it went crazy and just attacked and started biting the net. It was definitely the first time dad had played tug of war with a shark before.
“Dad was just holding onto the net trying to pull it from the shark. Every time he pulled the net the shark wouldn’t let go – this went on for about a minute or so.
“When dad loosened his grip on the net, that was when the shark finally let go and swam away. It was like playing tug of war with a dog.
“Dad loves sharks and this shark was not harmed – they re amazing animals and it was just a bit of fun, no one was hurt.
“What happened was just 100 per cent standard my dad, I would not have expected anything different from him – it was just dad being dad. He wasn’t scared at all and was having a laugh about it himself.
“He is definitely a dad to look up to in terms of the strength factor. He may be going on 50 but he is a tough man.
“I was really impressed by the way he handled the whole situation because it could have been a lot worse. All the fish could have been let out of the net and if the shark had got into the boat or one of us had fallen into the water it might’ve been different.”
Nic and David had cast their net to catch snapper when they realised the great white shark was stuck inside.
David tried twice to roll the 10ft fish out of the net but each time it swam back so he jabbed its nose – a particularly sensitive spot for the creatures – to stun it into swimming away.
As white pointers are a protected species in Australia David said he and Nic were determined the animal should not be harmed.
And the dad-of-five said in 30 years of being a professional fisherman it was the first time he had ever played tug of war with a shark.
David said: “It’s not something that happens all the time. We had a lot of fish in our net, so it was hanging around. I rolled it out of the net to release it and it swam off but then swam back into the net again.
“It was trapped in the circle so I pushed it back away but it came back and I gave it a little whack on the nose to get it to go away.
“But instead it just went ballistic and tried to rip the net out of my hands. He had part of the net and was trying to take off with it.
“In 30 years that is the first time one has grabbed the net and started playing tug of war, but no sharks were harmed in the making of the video. It was just a bit of fun and it was lucky Nic was filming.”