TROY Hussey was about to call it a day when he saw a large shadow swimming 20 meters away from his boat.
The recreational fisherman was on his way home from a day of fishing at the rock cod shoals Saturday afternoon, just 20 km from the north entrance, when a whale shark bigger than his boat came to say hello.
"The weather wasn't the best and I only just saw something in the water," he said.
"So we were just idling along the water and it came so close it nudged the boat."
The whale shark was doing laps around the boat, as if to investigate where the sound of the motor was coming from, Mr Hussey said.
whale shark video from week endPosted by Troy Hussey on Thursday, February 25, 2016
"We turned the motor off completely and it swam away. So we turned it back on and sat there just idling and it came back."
"It was the first time I have ever seen a whale shark. And it was wicked."
Mr Hussy was on the fishing trip with a friend and his wife, and his wife was lucky enough to touch the shark.
"It was so gentle and placid. Just an amazing experience, really topped off the fishing trip."
Mr Hussey said the whale was easily longer than 20 feet, but if it was any further anyway he would have been lucky to see it.
"I wish I had flippers and a snorkel and I would have jumped in the water with it."
This is the second reported whale shark sighting in Gladstone within just two months after pro angler fishermen Greg Lamprecht had an encounter with a seven meter whale shark early January off the cost of 1770. Fishermen can help researchers study the migration of animals like whale sharks. Find out more about the interactive map here.