Bronze whaler draws a crowd

TOWNSVILLE man Mick De Rooy recently capped off a family holiday to Fraser Island by catching a two-metre bronze whaler shark off the beach of Happy Valley.

De Rooy said he had watched sharks swimming close to shore for a week feeding on schools of large tailor and jewfish and became determined to catch one.

He rigged up a small rod and reel with gear sourced from his friend’s beach house and equipment from neighbours. After hooking a shark that got away after a 40 minute battle, De Rooy was soon hooked onto a larger specimen that took an hour to get to shore. He was cheered on by a large crowd that had assembled to watch the lengthy fight.

“It was swimming right along the beach and you could see the shark in the waves coming in and then fighting to take off in the other direction,” he told the Observer.

“Everyone got a buzz out of it. By the time I landed it and looked around, I had about 150 people standing around watching.”

Three spectators assisted to bring the shark to shore for a photo, with one helper getting a slap in the face from a fin for his trouble.

After recording the catch on camera De Rooy released the shark back into the ocean.

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