These could be toenail markings from a crocodile near Gladstone.
These could be toenail markings from a crocodile near Gladstone. Johnny Mitchell

Local fisherman spots crocodile in The Narrows

NEARLY three decades spent on the water and prominent Gladstone fisherman Johnny Mitchell had never seen a crocodile.

That all changed this month when the owner of Johnny Mitchell's Fishing Charters and Services spotted what he estimated to be a "nine foot" (2.7m) croc in The Narrows, just north of Ramsay's Crossing.

"It was exciting," Johnny said. "You suck all that stuff in."

He was fishing with a friend at the time and he said they both saw a "distinct crocodile".

 They saw the croc's head front-on. As they went past it turned, leaving Johnny certain it was a crocodile.

"You can get fooled but this one was a distinct crocodile," he said. 

Johnny Mitchell, from Johnny Mitchell’s Fishing Charters and Services.
Johnny Mitchell, from Johnny Mitchell’s Fishing Charters and Services.

"It turned its head as we fanged past. It is the only one I can confirm 100%."

A few days later while on a charter, Johnny photographed what he believed to be crocodile prints on the bank of a nearby creek, in Curtis Island.

"It's not uncommon. Those crocs come and go all the time," he said. "This was just my lucky time to spot one."

"You could see where it was laying," Johnny said.

As the tide dropped he said the crocodile must have been unhappy with its spot, leaving evidence of "slide and foot activity".

Johnny said he was with a friend at the time and they were travelling up The Narrows when

More excited than frightened by the prospect of sharing fishing grounds with the creature, Johnny said people shouldn't panic.

"You just don't be complacent," Johnny said. "The chances of getting gobbled are pretty slim."

He said it was certainly not going to stop him from heading down The Narrows or even swimming at Ramsay's Crossing.

SLIDE: Signs of a croc’s tail and foot movements.
SLIDE: Signs of a croc’s tail and foot movements. Johnny Mitchell