The one that got away – twice

 

THIS is the moment a lucky fish avoided becoming lunch.

Chris Bates, 34, of Townsville and three mates were fishing in Hinchinbrook, not far from the Lucinda Jetty, when he said a Queenfish he had hooked suddenly "skyrocketed out of the water with a massive two to Two-and-a-half metre jump."

"Then a shark had its fin and shoulders out of the water chasing it. It didn't get airborne, but that's why the camera came out," he said.

Just seconds after Andrew Barnes started filming, a 2.5m bull shark lunged for the fish Mr Bates had hooked right next to their 5m boat.

Mr Bates can be heard suddenly exclaiming F**!" in the video.

Mr Barnes, 35, of Townsville, said he had not seen the shark at first as he was watching the fish.

"I didn't expect, when I started taking the video, that he was going to come underneath us," he told the Courier Mail.

Mr Barnes said they were fishing for the day as his brother-in-law, Ashley Hatch, was visiting from the Sunshine Coast, so Chris and his brother, Peter Bates, had taken them out for the day on September 28.

Chris Bates and the queenfish that got away - from a shark. Picture: Andrew Barnes
Chris Bates and the queenfish that got away - from a shark. Picture: Andrew Barnes

 

It was about midday when he started filming, because the fish was putting up a good fight.

Mr Bates, an experienced fisherman, said he had thrown his line in after seeing other fish feeding on some bait fish on the surface nearby.

"All of a sudden the water turned into a washing machine from the fish feeding on the bait fish, that's why the water was all choppy and disturbed" he said.

Once he spotted the shark chasing his 70cm fish, Mr Bates said he used a technique called free spooling to reel it in away from the shark.

"The shark was chasing the fish the whole time … but I beat the shark," he said.

"It was pretty special to see that kind of thing and to actually catch it on film it was pretty lucky."

Mr Barnes said it was like a fish rescue mission.

"All four of us are fish lovers, so they don't usually stay on the boat. … Chris likes to kiss them and throw them back," he said.

"This was more of a rescue mission for the fish."

 

 

A bull shark can be seen chasing the fish on Mr Bates line in this still from a video. Picture: Supplied
A bull shark can be seen chasing the fish on Mr Bates line in this still from a video. Picture: Supplied

The Lucinda Jetty is the longest service jetty in the southern hemisphere at 5.76km long, and serves the Lucinda bulk sugar terminal.

Originally published as The one that got away - twice