'It was pretty hair-raising stuff. I had been sitting there for about four hours before I felt a huge pull on the line and my canoe suddenly shot off through the water.
'These creatures are known to do a runner and it's just like Jaws - the line flew off the reel. I just had to hold on and wait for it to tire. Eventually it did, and I was able to lean in the water and pull it on board.'
'You have to handle them very carefully and I nestled my hand under the tail and pectoral fin before landing it. 'The weight was incredible. I had to be extra careful as one snap of the jaws and I could easily lose a finger or hand.
'It was thrashing around on the canoe before eventually becoming quite still.'
Kirkwood a father of four and a farm veterinarian has been fishing from kayaks for over 10 years, his days on the water usually consist of fishing for mackerel and bird watching… Today was a big surprise!
The shark a Tope was released by Kirkwood, who added: 'It was thrilling to catch something that big and knocks spots off anything I have landed before.'
'It was amazing to catch such a large specimen and was a real rush.'
His adventures on the boat have seen him paddle the entire coastline of Cornwall and part of the north Devon coastline. He has also used it to sail from Cornwall across to the Isles of Scilly, a distance of 28 miles.
The Tope shark, or school shark, can grow to more than 6ft in length and weigh more than 100lbs.