BE CROCWISE WHILST FISHING… EVEN IN SHALLOW WATER
Driving across the Roper Bar crossing early of a morning, with the sun just coming up over the Melaleuca trees lining the banks of the Roper River, it’s hard not to be impressed with the gold colour of the wet mist in the clear light of a new day. It’s a beautiful scene that is guaranteed to warm the heart of many an enthusiastic fisherman just about to launch the boat for a spot of fishing in the freshwater reaches of this iconic river. For those of you who are yet to discover it, the Roper River is 606km south of Darwin and 312km east of Katherine.
It can be easy to forget in these shallow stretches of river, where the clear water means that you can see the cherabin hiding in amongst the rocks, that saltwater crocodiles also like to hunt where the fish are hiding. Please remember to Be Crocwise and stay safe while you are fishing. Never feed crocodiles; they will start to identify the arrival of a tinny with the arrival of their dinner.
While dangling your feet in the water may be a great way to cool off, it is also an easy target for crocodiles. Keep your arms and legs inside the boat at all times and keep an extra close eye on the kids. If you are fishing from the bank, stand 5m from the water’s edge and if possible keep a barrier between you and the water at all times. Logs or rocks are ideal for this and can also provide a handy place to rest your gear when rebaiting a hook. Don’t clean your catch, prepare food or wash at the water’s edge. Saltwater crocodiles have been known to pull people into the water. They can also smell your catch up to a kilometre away and will hone in on the scent of your prize barra.
Any repetitive actions at the water’s edge should be avoided. Crocs are very patient hunters and will sit and wait out of sight for long periods watching closely before launching a surprise attack on their unsuspecting victim. Avoid bleeding your catch on the water. If you bleed your catch on the water, use a kill tub. Any fish blood or entrails deposited into the water will catch the interest of passing crocs.
Dispose of fish carcasses in bins if they are available or take them home… we don’t want crocs to associate boat ramps with a free feed. When retrieving or reviving fish to catch and release, use a landing net to avoid leaning over the edge of the boat. Finally, no matter how much you paid for that fancy lure, if it gets snagged, do not enter the water to retrieve it. There is no lure worth more than your life. Be Crocwise while fishing and bring your catch home safe.
To report problem crocodiles Darwin 0419 822 859 Katherine 0407 958 405