“For sale. 12 foot tinny. As is, where is.”
Despite being advertised on Facebook two weeks ago, no one has been brave enough to take fisherman Rodney Fischer up on his offer.
That’s probably because of a deadly little detail in the photo. Leading up to his aluminium boat are a set of massive crocodile prints in the mud that Rodney reckons are the biggest he’s ever seen in the area.
“They’d have to be 1.6 metres across for sure — from the outside of one footprint to the outside of the opposite one. Other crocodiles around the 4-metre size would have prints of 1.1 metres, so this one really stood out,” he told Yahoo News Australia.
Responses to the image were hilarious, with one person writing “Change of plans mate, we’re off to the pub”. Someone else joked the crocodile now owned it, “That’s his boat now”.
Rodney's lifelong fascination with crocodiles
Rodney, however, was hardly afraid. He originally saw the crocodile tracks while cruising down the Ord River, just outside of Wyndham in the Kimberley.
“The tracks were almost as wide as my dingy, just massive. I was amazed because compared with the other big tracks that I see from the other four-and-a-half-metre-sized crocodiles, this one was a lot bigger,” he said.
“I just thought wow. Went for a closer look. It wasn't until I parked my dingy there that I actually realised how big they were.”
Unlike the travellers and social media influencers who have recently got themselves into trouble trying to interact with crocodiles, Rodney has grown up with them.
He’s been catching crocodiles since he was a kid living on the remote Gove Peninsula. He later took orders from leather farms who paid him to catch catch two and four-metre-long animals.
“I feel pretty comfortable out there in the water,” he said. “I’ve never had any incidents, no near misses or anything.”
Crocodiles filmed chasing each other in battle for territory
Rodney spent the weekend filming more footage for his Tropical exposure YouTube channel, on the mudflats 3km east towards Kununurra. The crocodiles in that video are massive, but not as big as the animal that left the footprints near his boat two weeks ago.
It shows a smaller 4-metre crocodile being chased by a larger 5-metres male in the shallows. When the skirmish was over, Rodney anchored his boat and walked along the sandbar to have a look at the smaller of the two.
“He’s pretty big, got a few wounds in his tail,” he says before considering if there might be another hiding in murky water nearby.
The large male then rears up aggressively and growls at Rodney, causing him to step back. “Listen to that,” he says.
“Settle down, just having a look at you,” he reassures the crocodile before watching it take off into the water.
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