Animals

By Nelson Groom

These incredible photos show a New Zealand fisherman dwarfed by a monster fish nearly as big as HIM.

Underwater photographer Sam Wild made the catch of a lifetime when he nabbed the monster 5st 7lbs (37kg) dogtooth tuna in Fiji.

PIC FROM Sam Wild / Caters News

The 26-year-old last week voyaged to the tropical island nation to hunt the powerful predators.

And on the last day of the trip, he caught one of the razor-toothed beasts after an epic tug-of war of war he said took every ounce of his strength.

Photographs of Sam holding his prized catch have sent social media into meltdown, with commenters claiming his own 6ft frame looks dwarfed by the huge fish.

Sam, from Wellington, said: “These fish have a reputation for being hard to catch, so it’s always been a bucket list trip for me.

“But by the last day, I had almost given up hope before I saw two of them rolling off the reef.

“I was lucky to get a good angle on him for a good shot, but that’s only half the work. It’s not game over until you have your hand on it.

“The power of this fish was unlike nothing I’ve ever seen, he put up an amazing fight. But it ended up being the catch of a lifetime.

“It’s great to see people sharing the stoke with me on social media. It definitely adds to the buzz of the achievement.

PIC FROM Sam Wild / Caters News

“I guess it’s good the smallest fella on the boat shot the picture!

“I’m 6ft, but a couple of the fellas on board would’ve been close to 6’4 so it definitely looks bigger in my hands.”

Dogtooth tuna are a notoriously hard catch because of their strength and capacity to put up a strong fight.

Sam said there were multiple sharks circling the area but he managed to pull his catch to the surface before they came at him.

Sam, who has been spearfishing for seven years, said he stored what he could of the mammoth catch and shared the rest of the hefty haul with locals.

Sam said: “We chopped it up, stored what we could and gave the rest to locals.

“Spearfishing is sustainable, as everything we catch is utilized.

“This was a great experience, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

“That’s why the ocean is my passion. It’s another world down there: you never know what you’ll find.”