What a croc! Fisherman tells of Fitzroy River encounter
ROCKHAMPTON fisherman Mark Ingham says he will never cast net for bait again from the banks of the Fitzroy River's city reaches after seeing a large crocodile on Saturday morning.
While it's commonly known that crocodiles inhabit these waters, as Mark was well aware having fished the Fitzroy all his life, this was his first close-up encounter.
"We just went to put some crab pots in down around Gavial Creek and about 200m past there on the southern bank there it was,” he said.
"I'm 48 and I've been fishing and crabbing in the Fitzroy all my life, but I've never seen a croc in the wild before and he was a big boy.
"We did a U-turn to get a closer look and just idled up to it.
"We were in a four-metre tinnie and it wasn't much smaller than the boat.”
Mr Ingham, who had his father George and brother David with him in the boat, said the experience would make him change his habits in the future.
"We often catch a lot of prawns in the river with the cast net when the bait is running.
"I've always been a bit hesitant about getting in the water to unsnag a cast net but I've seen kids doing it.
"There's no way in the world I'd swim in the saltwater side or even go in knee or waist deep to wash off or anything.”
Mr Ingham, who posted a video of Saturday's sighting on the Fishing Central Queensland group's Facebook page, said he hoped to create public awareness.
Fisherman Clayton Robertson said he'd seen this crocodile regularly for the past 18 months.
"He is along the bank there near Gavial Creek most days,” he said.