The last thing the two mates expected to see in their crab trap was a great white shark.
Hayden Scott and Brendan Jones were fishing at Bonnells Bay in Lake Macquarie when they saw the spectacular sight.
"We put the crab pots out in the morning and went for an hour's fish," Hayden told the Newcastle Herald.
"When we went to check the pots, we saw one moving.
"We followed it and tried to pull it up, but we had to let it go.
"We tried again and again and when we finally got it up we were stunned."
The pair took turns recording videos of the shark, which had an acoustic tag on its dorsal fin.
Hayden estimated the shark was about two-and-a half to three metres long.
"After about the fifth pull up it ended up breaking free and made it away safely," Hayden said.
"We thought 'this is crazy'. It was just surreal. We'd always heard about great whites in there, but we'd never seen one."
The pair hail from Western Sydney, but have fished regularly in that spot for the past five or so years.
Hayden said it was in fact the first shark of any species they had spotted in Lake Macquarie.
"I'll never be swimming in there again," he said.
Several different species of sharks have been spotted in Lake Macquarie before. Shane Lee from Toukley captured footage of a hammerhead in the lake in 2017 and bull sharks are also regularly spotted.
Hayden and Brendan shared their recorded encounter with fishing blog Trapman Bermagui, which boasts 72,000 followers on Facebook.
The video has attracted 700 comments and been shared more than 460 times since it was posted on Sunday.
"Brenden [sic] Jones got more than he expected in his crab net in (Lake Macquarie). A juvenile Great White Shark!. Released unharmed. Thanks for sharing boys. It also had an acoustic tag on the dorsel," the accompanying post said.
But after all the craziness with the shark, Hayden said they only managed to catch one single crab and when they went back the next day to retrieve the other crab traps they were all gone. Hayden said he thinks they may have been stolen.
"Unless the shark was coming back for seconds," he said.