Back in 1972 the Sergeant of Police at Burketown offered me some information that has proved to be very useful over the years. I believe everyone camping or caravanning near Northern waters could benefit from knowing what he told me all those years ago.
Tip 1. One and Done
I specifically remember the first thing he told me was, and I quote “NEVER GO TO THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME EACH DAY”.
This is imperative and should be remembered by any fishermen, crabbers or riverside water lovers as this is how crocodiles take so many humans, dogs, horses and cattle in the North.
You may have found the perfect spot for a dip in the water or where the fish are biting, however it may also be the perfect hunting ground for a crocodile looming to get a bite of his own.
Tip 2. Awareness Preparedness
It’s also very important not to walk to water and fish where there is a well-trodden cattle or horse pad as this is their clear hunting territory. The same goes when looking for a break in the tree vegetation to fish or crab. Always be on the lookout for nearby slides or any stick, dirt or vegetation mounds nearby as this can be the sign of a crocodile nest, and the females are extremely protective.
As we mentioned in one of our previous blog posts, we noted that it is very important to avoid interacting with wild animals. Remember, we are in their territory and not the other way around. To ensure we are not harming local wildlife or being harmed ourselves, always keep a safe distance. Being mindful of your environment and who you’re sharing it with will help you know what to look for and could even possibly save your life.
Tip 3. Keep your Distance
Following on from awareness of your surroundings, this next tip focuses on how to best use this knowledge and put it into action. Let’s say you’re itching to go fishing – it’s important to understand your surroundings, however to double your safety and chances, we recommend you stand well up the bank and as far away from the water as possible. Just as you need to be mindful of wild animals, they will be mindful of you, and a hungry crocodile will be able to spot you well before you see them. Keep your distance when and where you can.
Even when launching your boat from a main boat ramp, you should avoid standing in the water. Try to stand well up the bank and keep the boat between you and the water wherever possible.
Because of this, we recommend when launching boats off the shore, or at a place that has been/ is well used, to be very alert. If possible, we would recommend avoiding such areas all together.
Tip 4. Watch Where You Throw
This tip seems like a bit of a no brainer, but we can’t stress the importance enough to not clean fish or throw offal overboard at or anywhere near boat ramps. This is one of the worst mistakes you could make as it will certainly attract any nearby crocs to the surrounding waters. I’m sure that needs no explanation as to why this is a bad thing!
Tip 5. Not for a while Crocodile
If, on the occasion when fishing from your boat or out on the waters you do spot a crocodile, keep watch and see if it moves in closer. If the crocodile drops its tail, before diving under the water then it is highly likely that it is getting ready to propel itself forward.
For your safety, if you spot a crocodile out and about, we suggest moving away with haste but to do so safely!!!