Monday, November 10, 2008

Tiger Sharks

We often see smaller reef sharks cruising the shallow waters off the beaches around Crab Island. In the last few days we have seen sharks which are somewhat bigger (over 3.5m) patrolling the waters – tiger sharks!! We have seen several swimming only within metres off the beach. On one such occasion I wandered out on to Billy’s Bluff, a place where I often go to scan the waters for goings on. The first thing I saw was a massive shape in the clear waters a little to the north and very close to the beach. I sang out to Scott as I raced to pick up my fishing rod and run down to the beach. I arrived at the water’s edge just in time to fire a perfect cast just ahead of the large shape. I twitched the little lure, hoping not to attract the actually shark (my rod would have snapped!) but to attract any other predatory fish travelling with the shark (often, schools of fish will travel with them to clean up the scraps). Within seconds my line when taught before a battle ensued!! A silver shape darted around peeling off line as it went. I eventually got the better of it and reeled in a nice trevally.

* an image of a tiger shark attacking a green turtle at Raine Island on the Northern Great Barrier Reef (a few hundred kilometres to the east of Crab island). Raine Island is the only place in the world where tiger sharks are known to congregate. They time this to feed on the nesting sea turtles.

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