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'I knew it was big': B.C. fisherman reels in shark off Nanaimo

Roy Ban caught quite the surprise when he reeled in a very big fish.

A family who spent the evening fishing near Entrance Island ended up getting more than they asked for. 

Roy Ban and his fiancée were out fishing for lingcod off the coast of Nanaimo on July 6 when he felt something pull on his line. 

“All of a sudden, I just had a fish on and I knew it was big. I’ve fished before and I know fish bites. From there, I knew it was a big fish,” Ban tells Glacier Media.

He fought with the animal for about 15 minutes and was worried he was going to lose it. 

“That’s when I realized I wasn’t sure if it was a shark. I thought it was a dogfish at first, a really big one,” he says. 

Video captured by Ban shows the very moment the large fish surfaces, splashing in the water. 

“I had it by its tail and that’s why it was that much harder to fight and then I realized it was a big shark," he says.

Turns out the creature Ban reeled in was a shark, which experts call a Hexanchus griseus.

Dr. Jackie King, a research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, confirms the animal is a fish after reviewing the video footage. 

"Looks as if this is a bluntnose sixgill shark,” says King in an email. "It’s relatively common in the Strait of Georgia.”

The encounter took Ban and his family by surprise.

“My fiancée, she was scared and she said to let it go and let’s get out of here,” Ban says with a chuckle. "I didn’t realize we had that out here, that big of a fish.”

Ban adds the fish was quite large and even spun his boat around.

“I looked at my fiancée and took her as a measurement, and she’s five feet and the shark was pretty much bigger than her,” he says.