Shark shock for Ipswich schoolies fishing at Inskip Point

Ipswich school leaver Brock Walter with the shark he caught and released at Inskip Point.
Ipswich school leaver Brock Walter with the shark he caught and released at Inskip Point. Contributed

WHILE most schoolies were at the Gold Coast partying hard last week Ipswich boys Lachlan Majerovic and Brock Walter were at Inskip Point catching sharks.

The duo reeled in and then released two massive predators, a 2.6m hammerhead and a 2.3m thresher shark, off the beach just east of the sink hole at Inskip.

Lachlan, who is known as Shark Bait to his fellow schoolie campers, said they were the biggest sharks he had ever seen, let alone caught.

He and Brock were targeting smaller sharks by paddling out a bait attached to a line on a kayak.

They dropped the line in the middle of the channel separating Fraser Island from Inskip Point.

Lachlan said the bait, normally eel or poddy mullet, was anchored to the bottom of the channel with a rock to stop it being swept away with the current.

Once the bait was set it could take anywhere between 20 seconds and six hours before it was taken.

"When a shark hits the bait the rock breaks off and the fight starts," Lachlan said.

"The hammer head I caught fought for an hour and a half.

"Brock's shark took him 45 minutes to reel in."

The boys were surprised the sharks they hauled in were so large.

"I was hoping for something about a metre long, not anything that big," Lachlan said.

"It felt surreal.

"Personally, I have caught big tuna before but this was over 100kg.

"It's the first time I have caught sharks at Inskip."

The shark catching action attracted a crowd of about 30 schoolies to the beach to see what was going on.

After having their photos taken with the catch the boys released the sharks back to the ocean.

"It's illegal to keep a shark over 1.5m," Lachlan said.

The thresher shark recovered quickly and swam away but the hammerhead was another story.

It needed the boys to swim with it for half an hour to get water flowing through its gills so it recovered enough to swim away.

Asked if he was scared about swimming with a 2.6m hammerhead shark at night, Lachlan said "no".

"It was very tired and they are not aggressive.

"If you hold it by the head you have got no chance of getting attacked," he said.

The boys said they were shark lovers and hated the way the predators were looked at as monsters.

"You have more chance of getting skin cancer at the beach than being attacked by a shark," Lachlan said.

"They are at the top of the food chain and take all the pests out of the system.

"If you get rid of them it is not good for the environment."

Gympie Times

Topics:  animals camping editors picks environment fishing inskip point schoolies

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