FISH KISS

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There are always nice Barramundi in Bathurst Bay, and where ever there’s ‘barra there’s crocodiles. Fortunately the water where they are found is mostly so murky you couldn’t see a croc if one was in front of you. Dean Cropp speared this beauty of his recent northern safari aboard Freedom III. with brother Adam. They saw a croc this day too!

It’s even worse in Darwin Harbour where Rick Trippe ‘lives’. More than 100 large crocs are captured alive each year and shipped away to more remote places. Rick has seen a few ‘swirls in the murk’ but is yet to come face-to-face with one. So for courage in a quest for dinner table seafood, no one does it tougher than the trippe. Three meters visibility is a good day in Darwin.

CELEBRITY PET “Tuffy”

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Little ‘tuffy’ is a watchdog 24/7 even out in the dinghy on the Great Barrier Reef. He lives in a waterfront home in North Queensland and never ever misses a trip out in the boat with his master, Ben Cropp.

Fearful he might slip over the side and not be able to climb back aboard, he was fitted with this special home-made ‘doggie vest’, just in case. More ‘peace of mind’ than a real necessity.

We may see ‘tuff’ in a family fun film one day. He has a super personality, a good memory for faces, yaps wildly at big fish and even sharks cruising nearby*, and voices concern when we leave to go diving.

The cat stays at home.:rolleyes:

UPDATE: See Sept 27-29 Tiger shark pages. Little Tuffy was strangely silent when the three meter tiger shark was clamped onto the boat at Batt Reef! Local tourist operators in Port Douglas were quick to point out that a dog in a boat is not a good idea when sharks are around. Nor is the colour red a good idea.

**Photo John Harding/fathom**

‘MAN EATING’ SHARK

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Zane Grey was a true-life pulp fiction author of the 1930’s. His speciality was paperback westerns. He enjoyed big game fishing for black marlin and sharks. His legendary visits to his holiday base at the fishing village of Bermagui (NSW south coast) is still spoken of today. He put the town ‘on the map’ some say.

Zane occasionally caught a white pointer shark while hoping for marlin. Being a talented writer, he called the white pointer the “maneater”.

In time it became common for any dangerous shark to be called a ‘maneater’ or ‘maneating’ shark, in the common terms. Newspaper headlines enjoyed the term. “Maneater Caught” etc.

Side Show Alley capitalised with ‘tongue-in-cheek’ cheeky stunt to fool the people. A tent at the Sydney Royal Easter Show promised thrills inside: “See a MAN EATING SHARK”! No shark. Just a man seated, eating a plate of cooked shark and chips! A classic con.

Dean Cropp remembered the story and demonstrated with a live epaulette shark on the GBR last year. This shark was of course, not eaten, just ‘mouthed’.

**Photo: JH/fathom collection**Dean blows a few bubbles rings