The NSW Mid-North Coast mullet run takes an unusual turn

Tuncurry fishermen free great white shark.

An aerial photographer turned saviour when he warned a fishing crew of a potential killer just metres from them on a NSW beach.

Forster photographer Adam Fitzroy was at Tuncurry's Nine Mile Beach capturing capture fisherman Danny Elliott and his crew haul in another large school of the fish during the annual mullet run.

A number of great white sharks tried to get in on the action, as one particular shark came within metres of the shore as the fishermen pulled in their catch.

With Mr Fitzroy acting as both cameraman and an extra pair of eyes in the sky, he said once he alerted the fishermen to the shark's presence they didn't stay in the water for long.

"Within seconds the water was all clear," he said. "They all got out."

He estimated the shark to be around two metres long, while the one near the break wall at the beginning of the video was a juvenile great white, he said.

A fisherman tries to point a great white shark in the right direction at Tuncurry. Photo Adam Fitzroy

A fisherman tries to point a great white shark in the right direction at Tuncurry. Photo Adam Fitzroy

The spectacle took around 45 minutes to play out, but as usual there were a few hours of downtime spent on the beach while Mr Fitzroy and the fishermen waited for the fish to run out of the lake and onto the beach.

Once the action started, however, Mr Fitzroy said the fishermen were incredibly efficient, which he believed might have been helped by the video he made last year.

"I reckon me shooting it last year allowed them to fine-tune it and get it done faster," he said.

"They wouldn't have had that perspective before."

Much like last year's video of the annual phenomenon, Mr Fitzroy's photographic efforts have again attracted widespread attention.

It's also been getting a healthy response on his social media channels.

"I appreciate the community and the outpouring of support," he said.

And that's not the only video of Adam's that's attracted attention, with some of the footage he captured of great white sharks cruising Nine Mile Beach last year set to feature in a Discovery Channel documentary in the United States, which will run as a part of shark week in July.

Understandably, he's pretty happy about getting his vision out to such a large audience.

"For someone like me - I consider myself an amateur/semi-pro - getting that kind of exposure is ridiculous," he said.

Danny Elliott and his fellow fishermen pulled in another big haul of mullet at Tuncurry earlier this month. Photo by Adam Fitzroy.

Danny Elliott and his fellow fishermen pulled in another big haul of mullet at Tuncurry earlier this month. Photo by Adam Fitzroy.

What is the mullet run?

The mullet run usually starts around mid to late April, often landing on the shores of Port Macquarie-Hastings around or just after Anzac Day.

The onset of cooler westerly and south-westerly winds is the trigger but recent heavy rainfall could see mullet on the move earlier than expected.

Fishermen will set up their mullet run stations at North Beach, Plomer, Crescent Head and Hat Head. To the south of the Hastings, Grants Beach and South Beach at Diamond Head are also popular spots.

But there are rules of engagement. Fishos who get to the beach first - and remain on the beach from 6am until 6pm - get to hold the first shot - or turn at launching their boats during the mullet run.

Fishers who turn up next will hold the second shot.

A single shot will often net several tonne of fish, or roughly 30 boxes. A good shoal equates to roughly 30 tonne. Shooting the net for less than this is not economical in the mullet run game.

Catches taken during the mullet run are immediately on-sold to fish buyers before the fish are transported to Brisbane processors.

The most valuable resource is mullet roe, with the rest of the fish sold overseas to markets in Europe and Thailand, through fish markets, local co-operatives, supermarkets and bait companies. And nothing goes wasted.

The scales are on-sold for fertiliser while the frames are sold to fishers for trap bait and the fish guts sold to amateurs for bait.

To check out more of Adam's photos and videos, click here.

Adam Fitzroy was on hand to capture the unique incident.

Adam Fitzroy was on hand to capture the unique incident.