'No way I'll swim there again': Fisho hooks pair of bullies

CONTINUING our infatuation with bull sharks this week is this little blast from the past.

Delving into the "sharkives", QT reader Patricia Conlon plucked out one ripper of a story from a 1978 edition of the QT.

It tells the story of local anglers Sonny Thompson, Vance Schefe and Jake Kaiser, who reeled in a couple of juvenile sharks about 1km upstream of Colleges Crossing.

Although the sharks are identified as grey nurses in the story, it seems from the photograph and the location that both were juvenile bull sharks.

Mr Thompson, who still lives in Ipswich but hasn't fished for sharks since the 70s, confirmed that they were bull sharks but he told the QT reporter at the time that they were grey nurses because he didn't really know what they were.

An Indigenous man, Mr Thompson grew up learning how to spear mullet from the banks of the Brisbane River where the Wivenhoe Dam was later built.

In the 70s, he and his fishing buddies used to do the same thing near Colleges, but one day they noticed something unusual.

"We used to spear the mullet from about 10 foot up on the bank as they came up for air," he said.

"One day we saw something really big make a splash in the water, so we decided to go back and get some rods.

"I speared another mullet and used it for bait, and it would have just hit the water and started to drop a bit when we started to get a few hits and the sharks were straight onto it."

The first bull shark was 1m long and the second was about 1.3m and weighed about 30kg.

"We didn't know what we were going to catch, because in those days, we didn't know sharks were up that high in the river," Mr Thompson said.

"I used to swim in that area when I was a kid, but I'll tell you what, there is no way in the world I'd swim there again after catching those sharks."

Topics:  bull sharks colleges crossing shark fishing sonny thompson

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