crocodiles and boats

Submitted: Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 19:55
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hi, we will be travelling through the top end this year and are considering taking a boat for fishing. it will need to be towed on a trailer. we have no experience fishing in croc territory, is there any boat size recommendations or tips??? thanks
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Reply By: Top Ender - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 20:01

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 20:01
There is only one simple answer to this.

Every thing you want to keep, keep it on the inside of the boat.

You do need to be careful putting the boat in and out of the water, any boat over 14 feet is a good size.

Take care and have fun
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Follow Up By: Member - Barry (NT) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:06

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:06
I agree although some below don't.

It's the ones you don't see and are at boat ramps aka Corroboree that need to be watched closely. We used to launch off the bank years ago now ramps congregate people,,, we've had close call at Corroboree although I heard that the big black fella opposite the boat ramp has been moved (some time ago).

High sided - agree entirely.
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Follow Up By: Top Ender - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 21:43

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 21:43
Yeah Barry

I have only lived next to, camped next to, fished next to, and caught the occasional croc over the last 36 years.

I even ran shady camp boat hire on the odd occasion, which brings me to another point, I have seen thousands of barra caught at shady camp but, I have never seen a Black Dew fish caught there, good one Mainey.

There are only simple rules to follow as I say, but at the end of the day I will let the experts have their say.
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Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 20:31

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 20:31
WAT, we've been regular visitors to 'croc country' in NT for between 6 weeks and 6 months per year for the past five years. We have used three different boats, each a bit bigger than the previous, but all small enough to be used as roof toppers. Smallest - 3.5 m with 15 HP outboard. Biggest (and current) is 3.95 m with 30 HP outboard.

Without any scientific basis, I regard as important:

-Respect for the reptiles. They own the territory, you are a visitor. If in doubt, move on.
-If out of the boat and near the water, be vary alert. Don't go near the edge at all where there is deep water. I am happy to throw a cast net from the bank, but only where there is no deep water nearby and I have a partner keeping watch.
- When entering or leaving the boat, keep it between you and open water
-If fishing and a croc is seen hanging around and watching you - move on.

As for the boat, I regard depth, stability and reliability of the motor as important - more important than length.

Some dont's:

Don't clean fish and throw scraps over the side
Don't hang body parts over the side, particularly if staying in the same spot for a while
Don't use a keeper net with live fish tethered to the boat
Don't regularly go to the river bank at the same spot

Some do's:
Do get out there and enjoy yourself. With common sense and reasonable precautions, the fishing and boating is great.

My wife (and fishing buddy) was very nervous when we first fished this area. She is no longer nervous, but remains very vigilant and respectful, as do I.

This Blog gives some details of our boats and our experiences at our favourite fishing and camping spot in NT.






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Follow Up By: The Boss - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 20:42

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 20:42
Spot on, very sound advice.

I also consider the motor to be a large factor, Yamaha being the best. But thats just my personal favourite.

I regularly fished as a young fella from a 12 foot punt, with an 8hp motor, but never in open waters only rivers and creeks. Never had a problem with crocs. But if i did that motor would not have helped when pushing against the tide or current. Sometimes i got a very eerie feeling when fishing alone on the Ord river. Some big monster lizards along there, and there not shy either. But never had a problem at all.
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Follow Up By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 22:32

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 22:32
I have to agree with Norm.

I lived and fished in the territory for over 6 years. Fishing is my biggest passion.

I did find when rivers are flowing anything less than a 25 hp and you are struggling to make headway against the current. Saying that there are lots of quiet billabongs that have no current. Just the biggest crocs you will ever see.

David


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Follow Up By: Member - Barnesy - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 22:46

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 22:46
The Boss
I worked up at Wyndham for a while and considering taking my 3.5m tinnie in the lower Ord to try and get some Barra. I saw a 5m monster sitting on the other bank, needless to say the tinnie didn't get off the roof!
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Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 22:43

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 22:43
Ive only been fishing in a boat on one trip up there, first was a 12 ft tinney with a 15hp outboard, in the Mary River, a crock haven.
I actually run over one because they sit in the water and only the very tip of their nose is out of water to breathe, the skeg hit the crock, the motor went up, I went down into the boat not the water.

Later that same trip I was in a 4.8mt centre console with a 60hp outboard, now that was a great boat and we took it out into the Darwin harbour and the ocean on another day, the crocks were seen but not a hassle as the boat was high out of the water.

Later this winter I'm taking my tinney up there for a while to catch the elusive Barra, as I've still not caught one.

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Reply By: Scott C (Coolum - QLD) - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 23:54

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 23:54
Hi WAT

If you are going to tow a boat ( I assume you mean boat trailer not on top of a camper) I would suggest between 4 and 4.5 meters with around a 30hp would be a comfortable size to both tow and handle.

On our first trip around we had a 3 m nipper with a 15hp, we had no dramas but you get nervous drifting passed crocs that are twice the size of the boat.

We now have a 3.75m dart with a 20hp, its a much better touring set up as a car topper or for a camper.

I definitely recommend taking a boat if you enjoy your fishing.

Have fun

Scott
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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 10:06

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 10:06
G'day WAT,

I like seeing crocs in the wild – beats the zoo. There are not many seriously dangerous animals we can see close up like that. Remember always that crocs have developed over several hundred million years successfully accomplishing only a few things like eating. A large croc will see you as food and will eat you just like any other food if you let him. They are good at this and we should not make ourselves an easy target.

Always remember that they are around (in croc country) and not just in salt or deep water.

The most scary croc story for me was fishing at the Blue Holes near Derby. The local tackle shop asked us where we were going fishing and we told him to which he replied “your not going there unarmed are you?” We didn’t see one croc and that probably scared me the most as the water was deep and murky. No slides or tracks but hundreds of wallabies, it was an interesting but eerie place.

Unfortunately crocs do take humans and for most of these it was complacency and misinformation that was their undoing.

BTW, think tinny and the bigger the better. Mine’s a 3.75 but that’s as big as I can carry. Can’t see myself in a canoe or inflatable in croc country.

Kind regards
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Follow Up By: Yadaki - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 11:23

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 11:23
Off topic , sorry.
That Bushtracker in your avatar is so close to the palm tree and house, must be bugger backing it in there Bratit.
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 11:39

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 11:39
G'day Yadaki,

And my apologies to WAT as well. It was a major mind block for me at the time I brought it home but after about 2 dozen in's and out's I have mastered the manouvre. I have about 6" either side of the gate. Figured if I can get it in my place I'll be able to park it anywhere hahahaha.

Kind regards
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Reply By: Members Pa & Ma.(Sally) - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 17:43

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 17:43
Hi WAT,
I'm not a fisher person nor is hubby. You probably know this anyway. When we were speaking to fisher people at Borroloola, we were told that the crocs watch you and the camp and they get to know your routine. Advised to change routine in camp each day.
We were also told that there can be trouble crocs which will follow your boat along or beside it with one eye on you all the time.
This was a long time back 2005 I think, but they also said that there was one croc that would actually give the boat a nudge.
Could be fisher peoples tales I wouldn't know and didn't want to find out.
O.K I'm a woman, but I wouldn't want to become tinned female human croc food! Not for a Barramundi. There's far better fish in the sea. Crocs in the sea up there too I know. 80 mile beach have thread fin salmon caught from shore. Delicious fish. No crocs...
.Midgies are murder at Derby jetty at sunset but beaut shop there to sample threadfin salmon.
Keep safe ,Take care .
Bye, Ma (Sally)
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Reply By: Member - Dave and Shaz - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 19:12

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 19:12
Been travelling since June 09 and have our 3.1m roof topper (high sided!) tinnie and 8hp Mercury with us. Have lived in Darwin since Oct 09 and are happy to put the tinnie in Darwin Harbour but only to go up creeks or hang close-ish to the boat ramp (East Arm and Dinah Beach have great floating boat ramps that you don't have to get your feet wet on). Have found the 8hp struggles a bit power wise. A bigger boat/motor would be awesome and what you really need to go exploring.

As for crocs, expect they are everywhere and you'll be right. Have seen a few around, notably at Shady Camp and also one cruising along at East Arm boat ramp at midnight one night. You can always rely on the locals doing something crazy where crocs are concerned (this link caused a stir recently!!) Pretty Stupid in Pink - one of many headlines making news in Darwin

I took a series of photos of this 8ft saltwater croc, who came up from the saltwater side of Shady Camp, walked over the barrage and slid silently into the freshwater side. Three guys had been fishing there about half an hour before, and would have had their backs to this guy. It was only me and my hubby, and 3 guys on a boat, who saw this happen and it was an awesome experience but we all kept a respectful distance.
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:46

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:46
I went fishing there at Shady camp in '06 and at about 9pm thought we would go have another look there, took a 1,OOO cp light and went to the gate over the barrarge before we even turned it on as it was only a 40mt walk from the camp ground and plenty of moon light, no hassles ha ha ha.

When we turned the light on we could see 62 pairs of beady red eyes looking AT US, Grrr, obviously we didn't stay out there on the barrarge for long.
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Follow Up By: Member - Dave and Shaz - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 22:19

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 22:19
Yeah it would be a fun place to hang out at night! NOT! Is that a barra or a jewie you are holding there? Nice fish whatever it is.
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 09:38

Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 09:38
I believe it was a Northern Mulloway, not the greatest eating fish (better than a Sambo) but on a bbq it was great, many fillets were given away to fellow campers as they don't freeze too well.

Maîneÿ . . .
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 11:19

Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 11:19
Camped at TownsRiver early August 08 , has a bit of a boat ramp so easy to put boat in and is quiet enough to leave the boat in for the duration of stay , when we arrived a young couple who we had met earlier in our travels had already been there for 4 days with their 4mtr tinny in the water so we had the pleasure of their boat instead of ours , 2nd morning that we were there an almighty scream just after sunrise , a croc had taken up residence IN THE BOAT , 5mtr crocs and 4 mtr boats , no thanks.
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