For most anglers, the chances of a crocodile bursting out of the depths to snatch your hard-earned catch are slim to none. But this is Australia. And Australia has a reputation to uphold.

Two fisherman were angling in a billabong in Australian's Northern Territory recently when one of them hooked a "donkey" of a barramundi. Experienced fisherman Dac Craig filmed his fellow angler, "Daniel', wrestling with the hefty fish. "[The barra] had gotten caught up in a bit of weed, and [Daniel] was putting a bit of pressure on it," Dac told ABC's Tales from the Tinny.

Daniel hopped around on the river bank in an effort to free the line while Dac Craig dished out some words of encouragement: "Keep pressure. Keep pressure." The commotion attracted the attention of a saltwater crocodile that edged closer to the hapless fish hoping to secure an easy meal.

"He [Daniel] eventually got it free, and started slowly bringing it towards him, I think with a bit of weed still tangled up on it," Craig explained. But the croc wasn't giving up. It surged out of the water in pursuit of the barramundi sending the fishermen bolting for safety. "He started bringing the fish faster and faster towards the bank, but the croc sort of matched the speed," Craig said.

"'Run back bro, run back!' Craig cried as the croc thrashed out of the murky waters and snatched the fish. 


Daniel made a final attempt to "keep the pressure on" in the hopes of reclaiming the plundered fish, but the croc swiftly tossed its head back and swallowed the barramundi whole – lure, line and all (crocs are pretty hardy, but we hope that lure won't cause any damage). 

"Oh no! The whole thing's gone down his gob!" Craig can be heard yelling in the video. "Daniel, that was a beast of a fish," he added, clearly shattered to have lost the catch to a croc.

The fishermen's exploits have raised some eyebrows online, but the duo insist that they exercised caution. "We moved back, as it [the crocodile] was sitting there digesting this fish, we made our way up a tree," Craig said. They then took the long way back home to avoid any further confrontation.

Saltwater crocodiles, or "salties" as they are affectionately known in Australia, are the largest crocodilians on Earth and inhabit brackish and freshwater regions in northern Australia, eastern India, and Southeast Asia. They are ambush predators and typically lie in wait near the water's edge hoping to snatch any unsuspecting animals that wander near to drink. They are opportunistic and if there's a struggling barramundi on offer, you can bet they'll grab it.

Top header image: Peter Nijenhuis/Flickr