A MONSTER mako shark dragged on to a boat by five stunned Victorian fishermen could be the biggest caught in Australia.
Instead, the quintet of friends have been branded crazy for putting themselves in danger.
Mako sharks are notorious for hurling themselves on deck and attacking fishermen.
The Victorian men were slammed by Game Fishing Association president Geoff Fisher.
"They're nuts. I would never do it. No bloody way in the world. They are killing machines," he said.
Sean Heinemann and his crew admitted they were out of their depth when they hooked the biggest catch of their lives on Monday.
He said the 3.3m shark circled the boat and "eyed off" the crew during a tough two-hour fight about 4km south-east of Green Cape near Eden.
"We had to move away so it didn't go ballistic and jump into the boat," Mr Heinemann said.
He said they managed to quickly kill the shark humanely before it was pulled aboard.
Dramatic pictures show their boat listing to one side after they finally got the fish on deck.
"We started to take on water," Mr Heinemann said. "It had a girth of almost 2m."
The shark was estimated to weigh between 450kg and 530kg.