A CAIRNS fisherman has had a catch of a different kind after snapping a rare photo of a whale shark near Arlington Reef.
Charter fishing vessel Blue Whaler owner-operator Andrew Kelly said he was surprised to see the whale shark again on Thursday morning after encountering another one earlier this month.
“The whale shark came right up … literally a metre from the side of the boat and the deck hand slipped into the water with it,” he said.
“He (the shark) was really inquisitive and hung around the boat for a good five or 10 minutes.”
Mr Kelly said the shark was “easily” 5m long and was within half a kilometre of the original sighting off Arlington Reef three weeks ago.
The 14m charter vessel had 11 passengers on board at the time of the sighting.“I didn’t get to jump in the water with it, so I was spewin’ because it’s been a lifelong dream of mine to swim with a whale shark,” Mr Kelly said.
“I had to stay on the boat, but it was pretty exciting.”
The whale shark feeds on plankton and krill and is not a threat to humans.