Police searched for an Australian fisherman who they suspected went missing after he his kayak surfaced without him in it, according to reports.

The hunt for the fisherman, identified by Austrailian news outlets as Brett Palmer, 34, began after locals reportedly found his abandoned kayak off the coast of Balnarring in Victoria Sunday morning, according to the West Australian.

The 34-year-old snagged a shark but lost control as it pulled him into the water. However, his friends, who happened to be fishing nearby, came to his aid and rescued him from the ocean.

Palmer and his friends returned to the shore and fished all night and that’s when he lost sight of his vessel. 

Locals spotted Palmer's loaded kayak floating near Western Port Bay, which then prompted a widespread search by water police and marine and rescue crews, the Herald Sun reported.

Authorities found Palmer, unaware of the search, at his Western Port Bay home. Jarred by the shark encounter, he told police that he paddled home and never reported his kayak missing.

"It's a 40-kilogram plus shark," Palmer said, according to Australian outlet Nine News. "By the time I got it all the way back to the Western Port Yacht Club and dropped it off, the tide's come in."

Police told Palmer that concerned fisherman found his kayak off Cliff's Beach near Balnarring and reported it.

"Kayaks do tend to be over-represented in marine deaths and certainly we feared the worst," Water Police spokesman Glenn McKenzie said.

Shark attack Police searched for a man suspected of going missing after a shark encounter. Photo: Getty Images