Wade Eaton with a shark caught in the Clyde River this month. Photo: Bay Post
A Batemans Bay fishing guide has warned swimmers to stay out of the Clyde River after catching several bronze whaler sharks in the past two weeks.
The Batemans Bay Post reports Wade Eaton won’t be willingly living up to his name, after he and friends caught five bronze whalers in one night near Chinamans Point.
Mr Eaton said the crew caught the whalers, including an 80kg specimen, about 2.5km upstream from the Batemans Bay bridge, halfway between Runnyford River and Chinamans Point about February 6.
He said the largest and scariest was the one they did not land – an estimated 120kg whaler that shadowed a hooked shark up to their boat.
“I would not be swimming in the river after seeing those sharks,” Mr Eaton said.
“No way; I have never seen anything like it.”
He believed he hooked the larger shark shortly afterwards, but could not land it.
“I just could not stop it and I have pretty good gear,” he said.
Mr Eaton said he had continued to catch whalers on three subsequent trips and knew a 90kg shark was also caught on Sunday night near the Batemans Bay helipad, closer to the mouth of the river.
The online fishing writer said he was confident they were bronze whalers.
Mr Eaton said he was taught to fish by his father Malcolm and had been fishing in Batemans Bay since he was six years old.
He now guides other fishing parties to the best spots.
Mr Eaton said he was unsure if the whalers were large enough to take a swimmer, but could cause injury and blood loss.
He said unseasonably cold water was attracting schools of fish to follow warmer currents up the Clyde, with the sharks in pursuit.
“I caught a 6kg snapper and that is unheard of,” he said.
He advised people to stay out of the river until water temperatures at sea rose.
“But I can see these fish holding in the system,” he said.
“We are catching a lot of unusual fish, giant catfish and rays.”