'Holy s**t' – fisherman films close encounter with great white shark in Tauranga Harbour

A group out fishing in Tauranga Harbour had a close up encounter with an inquisitive great white shark on the weekend.

Ryan Crapp told 1 NEWS he was fishing with friends off Bowentown on Saturday when the bait fish in their burley trail started jumping out of the water.

"At first I was pretty excited because I thought we had some king fish hanging around, then I saw the fin pop up and thought it was just a pesky bronze whaler, but when it came up to the boat I realised it was more than that," Mr Crapp said.

"It circled the boat for a few minutes before disappearing. We had a burley bomb out which had a lot of bait fish in the water."

Mr Crapp said it's the first great white he has seen in the harbour.

DOC shark expert Clinton Duffy confirmed it was a great white shark in the video, saying it looked like a mature male around 3.5 metres in length.

"This is the fourth observation of a white shark from this general area reported to me since November," he said.

"Any species of shark over about 1.8 m long should be considered potentially dangerous because at that size they are capable of inflicting life threatening injuries if one should bite you."

Mr Duffy said the shark in the video looked to be interested in the boat to see if anything edible is on offer.