WATCH: Smart sharks steal fish right off the hook
SHARKS are stealing fish right off the hooks as Fraser Coast fishermen struggle to land a catch, no thanks to the ocean predators.
Hervey Bay angler Andrew Chorley said he was noticing an increased number of both whalers and bull sharks in the oceans of the Fraser Coast, particularly at Platypus Bay.
Mr Chorley, a guide with Hervey Bay Fly and Sportfishing, suspects the sharks have learnt that boats equal food and have positioned themselves to steal the catch as soon as it goes on the hook.
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He said up to five sharks have been under the boat when he has taken groups fishing, waiting to steal a feed.
Since 2010 when floods started regularly hitting the region, Mr Chorley said shark numbers had increased and restrictions on the taking of sharks had also likely given their numbers a boost, he believed.
"It may have contributed to a bigger population of sharks," he said.
Mr Chorley said anglers were also noticing more sharks right along the south-east coast.
"It's hard to land a decent fish," he said.
But Mr Chorley said he didn't believe it was anything to be concerned about from a safety perspective.
"They're no threat to us," he said.
"They're mostly whalers. Their main diet is fish.
"That being said, I wouldn't want to fall overboard."