Aussie fisherman's 'bloody stupid' act divides locals

The image has sparked yet another warning for people to act wisely when in crocodile country.

An innocent-looking photo of a man and a young child spending quality time together fishing in an Aussie river has sparked a bitter debate online, with many criticising the adult’s “bloody stupid” decision.

The image taken by a passerby shows the man standing in ankle-deep water in the Johnstone River in Innisfail, Far North Queensland, holding a fishing rod as what appears to be a young child sits on an esky next to him. The kid also has a rod in their hands and feet in the tidal water — which sits in prime crocodile country.

The fisherman standing in the ankle-deep crocodile river with a child next to him sitting on an esky. Both are holding fishing rods.
While some argued the fisherman and the child were just 'bonding', others said it was 'stupid' to stand in a river known for its crocodile population. Source: Facebook

“Why do people get attacked by crocodiles?” a local captioned the picture in a Facebook post on Tuesday, immediately igniting an argument between fans of the reptiles.

The man went on to argue that saltwater crocodiles known to live in the river “can sneak up without being seen, no matter how much one watches the water” and could have “easily” caught one of the fishers.

Locals hit back over crocodile outrage

Many were horrified by the dad’s behaviour, however just as many hit back at the Facebook user, telling him to mind his own business.

“The father needs some common sense,” one person said, while others commented that he was probably a local who was familiar with the wildlife.

“Please don’t judge! The dad is trying to bond with his son, and I’m sure is watching the water also,” another wrote. “Judge all you like. We live around them. The actual locals here, know their surroundings,” someone else agreed.

“I know this spot well. There is a sandbank that extends well beyond where they are fishing. Clear sight in front of them, really no big deal,” another fisherman chimed in.

A man has been filmed fishing in Far North Queensland. A large male crocodile can be seen nearby.
In August, a man has been filmed fishing in Far North Queensland, just metres from a large male crocodile. Source: Tez Blackmore

'Complacent' locals at risk

The person who posted the photo said they did so to remind people to be croc wise. “It demonstrates that in croc country common sense is needed,” he said. “If they see it it may shock them into being wiser. I hope they do.”

One Aussie said they had visited the same river earlier this year and saw “the biggest crocodile” of their life.

“No one is at more risk than complacent locals,” someone else said. Another social media commenter detailed a fight with a friend who didn’t behave appropriately in croc country.

“There’s no crocodiles in there!! I can’t see one??!! Seriously I had a big blue with an ex mate at the Daly River Crossing,” he said. “He walked across and back. Then told me I was stupid as he didn’t see a croc. I nearly left him there.”

Tips to reduce your risk while fishing

  • Stay at least 5 metres from the water’s edge where crocodiles like to hunt

  • Dispose of your food and fish scraps in a bin or at home

  • Keep pets on a lead and away from the water’s edge

  • Avoid using small vessels like kayaks and paddle boards

  • Stay away from crocodile traps

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