On this day fifty two years ago, John (Jack) Shine an angler from Lahinch caught a porbeagle shark of 155Ibs off the coast of Co Clare.
Shine was a native of Co Cork he arrived in Moy in the 1950s where he began working as a creamery manager. One of the first things he did after arriving in Clare was to join the local anglers who fished around from the rocky ledges at Black Head, Ballyreen and at Green Island which is located on the south western tip of Liscannor Bay.
From 1961-1964, Jack made angling history by catching fourteen to fifteen porbeagle sharks. In the years prior to this fishing equipment had improved significantly. Fixed spool reels appeared loaded with monofilament line and a variety of rods made of split cane, greenheart and finally the new wonder material, fibreglass. The Moy man revelled in the technology and he was often seen experimenting with new casting techniques and catching methods.
Porbeagle shark had been seen on several occasions as they smashed into the mackerel shoals usually from mid May onwards throughout the summer months, but none had ever seriously figured on the agenda of the local anglers who for some reason regarded them as the impossible dream. For Jack, this was exactly the challenge he was looking for and the challenge he would conquer. The largest porbeagle caught by Jack was one weighing 145Ibs.
Speaking fifty two years ago, the legendary Clare angler is quoted as saying the animal was unlikely to threaten bathers in the County. “I wouldn’t say he’s dangerous, he’s a great set of teeth alright, dangerous spiky teeth but I don’t know would he attack any bathers or anything like that” he told a RTÉ reporter.
Jack passed away in 1997 and he has left a legacy that is fondly remembered to this day.