Wherever you go you must remember to be Crocwise whenever you are operating near Top End waterways. Any body of water, no matter how big, small, clear or murky, salty or fresh is a potential habitat for salwater crocodiles .
Saltwater crocodiles were once hunted almost to extinction but since their protection in 1971 numbers have bounced back and are now at pre-hunting levels. This means that places that you may have fished or swum in the past may now have salties living or moving through regularly.
Always remember ‘the smaller the boat the bigger the risk’ when it comes to fishing and boating.
Large adult saltwater crocodiles are regularly longer than 3.5m, larger than some dinghies. Crocodiles are able to leap from the water to grab prey and the low freeboard of a small boat is no protection against a hungry saltie.
Never dangle your arms or legs outside the boat and always use a landing net. Crocs are attracted to the smell of your catch and may be lurking nearby waiting to take advantage of all your hard work.
Abandoned fishing lines and hooks pose a real hazard for many different animals, however remember that no lure, no matter how lucky, is worth your life. Don’t enter the water or lean over the side of your boat to retrieve snagged gear.
Always stay at least five metres away from the edge while fishing and preferably keep a large rock or log in between you and the water.
Always dispose of your fishing rubbish a long way from water and remember that the crocodile attracted to what you leave behind will be a danger to others as well as yourself.
If you are staying the night choose a campsite at least 50 metres from the water’s edge and avoid repetitive activities. Salties are intelligent animals and will be aware of what is going on in the world around them.
You will never see all the salties around you so be vigilant and aware of your surroundings, especially when you are fishing alone or at night. Be Crocwise and stay safe when fishing.