“Meanwhile in Australia” continues to provide the most horrifying and fascinating animal vs. human stories. Just a few days ago in Cape York, a fisherman thought he was bringing up a lively threadfin, one with “an excellent fighting ticker.” Then all of a sudden the line got heavy. He thought the fish was caught under a log.
Turns out. NOPE!
Here’s fisherman Ben Stack describing the encounter with the saltwater crocodile:
It was another beautiful day on the water and the fishing was good. I had hooked up to a little Threadfin and while I was slowly gaining some line, I was admiring the excellent fighting ticker of these fish. The fish had another run and went straight under the boat. Then everything stopped, no vibration, no kicking or head shaking, no fight, just a heavy dead weight. “Damn, he’s run under a log”, I thought.
Us fisherman and women know that fish run for cover under snags all the time, so I began slowly winching the heavy dead weight to the boat. My 60lb leader surfaced and I leant over the boat and grabbed the leader with both hands. Leaning over the side of the boat, hand over hand, I began pulling the leader in. By this stage, I was expecting to see a large branch or log come to the surface from under my boat. The water was a bit murky so I was really hanging over the side to get a good look.
What took place in the next few seconds felt like a lifetime. Or was it that I felt like my life only had a few seconds. First, I saw a bit of silver, then I saw my lure with the fishes mouth wide open. I lifted the leader some more and leaned over further to see what the fish was hooked up on. It was at this moment, I realised I was staring eye to eye with a solid salt water crocodile. We were face to face and no more than 20 inches apart. Fright kicked in, I released the leader and flew backwards into the boat.
I couldn’t believe what I had just experienced and I didn’t think anybody was going to believe me. Thankfully these pictures had turned out. Be careful while fishing creeks and rivers with crocodiles in them because one may be hiding under your boat.
Here’s a question for Ben: How did you take a picture while fishing and peeing your pants? That’s damn fine multitasking. Well done, sir.
As far as our continued discussion into #TeamOcean vs. TeamDryLand, this most definitely serves as the final word. Everyone move inland now!
(NOTE: The image at the top was taken by me last month at the Tarcoles River in Costa Rica. I nearly shat my pants.)