Cardwell’s Gwenda Kingston reeled this crocodile in. Photo: SUPPLIED
Cardwell’s Gwenda Kingston reeled this crocodile in. Photo: SUPPLIED

Holy snapper! NQ woman didn’t expect to catch this

IT'S not often you go fishing for barra or grunter and catch a "swamp dog".

Instead of grunter mornay, Cardwell's Gwenda Kingston could have had crocodile fricassee this week when she hauled one of the living dinosaurs up on to the beach.

Luckily for the croc she was feeling the love and ­instead of keeping him for the frying pan she released the ­little bloke back into the wild.

 

No doubt he has retreated into the Meunga Creek mangroves and is still wondering what the heck happened.

Ms Kingston said it was a week of unexpected catches. Just a couple of days before she jagged the crocodile she caught a shark ray, which she released.

"I went down to the beach hoping to get some grunter (javelin fish) on Tuesday," she said.

"I hooked what I thought was a grunter and got him into the shoreline when I realised it was a crocodile. The hook had caught his skin near his eye."

Ms Kingston said the hook detached and the croc beat a hasty retreat back into the ocean.

Fishing does come with its own inherent dangers at Cardwell.

In 2004 local man Stephen May inadvertently threw his cast net over the head of a large crocodile. Mr May was startled to say the least when the croc leapt out of the water with the net entangled around its head.

 

Cardwell’s Gwenda Kingston landed this shovelnose shark at the same spot.
Cardwell’s Gwenda Kingston landed this shovelnose shark at the same spot.

But, to say the crocodile was startled would be understatement. It took off out to sea like a runaway locomotive, towing the now very alarmed Mr May with it.

"The cast net rope was around my wrist. I was trying to get the rope off," Mr May said.

It looked like Mr May might be towed to a watery grave but in the end fate­ ­intervened, and the hapless cast netter won Croc Lotto.

"The croc managed to break through the cast net and swim away," Mr May said.

Mr May was left with rope burns on his wrist and a new-found healthy regard for the ocean and its inhabitants.

A few nights later Dena Leo was fishing on the beach with a friend. Dena turned on her torch to check her line and saw in a sliver of moonlight a 4m crocodile coming out of the water towards her.

She and her friend ran up to the top of the beach. The crocodile stayed out in the water in front of them for 30 minutes.

"It was swimming up and down with its body out of the water," Ms Leo said.

When it comes to wetting a line at Cardwell, it pays to be alert for swamp dogs.



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