FLASHBACK: Donna Cannon posted this image of a shark believed to have been caught about 20 miles off Mooloolaba back in 1940.
FLASHBACK: Donna Cannon posted this image of a shark believed to have been caught about 20 miles off Mooloolaba back in 1940. Facebook

Is this still the biggest shark caught off Sunshine Coast?

WHILE deep sea fishermen say there are still plenty of monster sharks in our waters it's unlikely they've been any bigger caught than 'White Death'.

F.Z Eager is believed to have been the man who hooked the 602kg shark with a rod and line in 1940 in the big-game grounds about 20 nautical miles off Mooloolaba.

It was believed to have been a world record catch at the time and Sunshine Coast Council's Heritage Library Officers reported the catch- believed to be a great white or tiger shark- had to be cut into three pieces to be weighed.

IS IT SAFE? Find out where shark control equipment is installed on the Coast here

The photo is doing the rounds of a prominent Coast Facebook page, with some conjecture over what species it is.

Owner and skipper of Mooloolaba-based Odyssey Charters Adam Austin said he still saw plenty of huge sharks about 20-25 nautical miles offshore.

"Especially during whale season when the whales are calving (we see the big sharks)," he said.

He said a 4.5m-5m tiger shark was the biggest he'd spotted last year and reckoned every trip there was at least one sighting of a sizeable shark.

"We don't see them in close (to shore)," he said.

"Tigers and hammerheads are the main two we see."

He said one of the biggest sharks he'd seen in the past decade was alongside the boat while out on a charter last year.

Mr Austin said the sharks had never been aggressive towards the boat and for his customers a big shark sighting usually brought about jaw-dropping admiration of them in their environment.

"You wouldn't want to be in the water with them obviously," Mr Austin said with a laugh.

"None are really aggressive towards the boat they just swim around the boat and have a look."

He said he'd seen more sharks in recent times since whale populations had been replenishing and the calmer water had made for easier sightings.

With favourable weather and plenty of snapper and pearl perch offshore he said they were entering an extremely busy time of year and more shark sightings were sure to come.

So how does the 1940s monster shark stack up? 

A Fisheries Queensland spokeswoman gave us a few stats on the following questions:

Q: What is the biggest shark caught on the Sunshine Coast on record? What type of shark was it?

The biggest shark was a 5.49m Great White shark caught at Peregian Beach in 1982.

Q: What is the biggest shark caught in QLD on record? What type, where, how big and when?'

The biggest shark caught in Queensland is a 5.5m Tiger shark caught at Emu Park on 10 March 2012.

Q: What are the 5 biggest sharks caught on the Coast in the past 5 years?

Tiger sharks - 4.89 & 4.72m

Great white shark - 4 & 3.81m

Dusky whaler - 3.76m

But don't be too concerned about dipping a toe in the water.

There are plenty of shark control measures in place across the Coast, with equipment (nets and drumlines) installed at:

Rainbow Beach, Alexandra Headland, Bribie Island, Buddina Beach, Caloundra, Castaways Beach, Coolum Beach, Currimundi, Hyatt Regency Resort, Marcus Beach, Marcoola Beach, Maroochydore Beach, Moffat Beach, Mooloolaba Beach, Mudjimba Beach, Noosa, Peregian Beach, Pt Cartwright, Sunrise Beach, Sunshine Beach, Surfair Resort, Twin Waters Resort, Wurtulla, Yaroomba Beach.

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