Huge fish drawing crowds at feeding time

 

HANDFED Queensland groupers weighing in at more than 120kg are drawing big crowds to a Far North town at feeding time. WATCH THE VIDEO

 

Thomas Anderson and Monty Smith with Richard the grouper during a high tide feeding session at the Cook’s Landing Kiosk. .
Thomas Anderson and Monty Smith with Richard the grouper during a high tide feeding session at the Cook’s Landing Kiosk. .

 

Former commercial fisherman Thomas Anderson said after Cyclone Ita in 2014 he was doing diving salvage work around the jetty when he first encountered the fish.

"The fish introduced themselves to me and dragged me around by the fins and I found that if I gave them a feed they would go away," he said.

"After a while they thought that was pretty cool and they continued turning up on the high tide."

A Queensland grouper weighing 120kgs and thought to be more than 40-years-old lines up for a feed near the Cook's landing Kiosk in Cooktown.
A Queensland grouper weighing 120kgs and thought to be more than 40-years-old lines up for a feed near the Cook's landing Kiosk in Cooktown.

First interactions out of the water were motivated by efforts to help the fish, Mr Anderson said.

"They had a lot of hooks and lures in them and I found if I could tease them up into shallow water I could get them out," he said.

 

Thomas Anderson estimates the larger fish to be more than 40-years-old. Photo: Christine Bull.
Thomas Anderson estimates the larger fish to be more than 40-years-old. Photo: Christine Bull.

Mr Anderson said up 10 of the protected species could turn up for a free meal at the Cook's Landing Kiosk and at times sharks and stingrays also dropped in for a feed.

He estimated the larger animals to be more than 40 years old.



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