Fishing enthusiasts and good mates Darryl ‘Smiley’ Brown and Graeme ‘Salty’ Hall cannot believe someone stole their crab pots on Australia Day.
Fishing enthusiasts and good mates Darryl ‘Smiley’ Brown and Graeme ‘Salty’ Hall cannot believe someone stole their crab pots on Australia Day. Max Fleet

Man angry over crab pot theft

SOUTH Bundaberg’s Darryl ‘Smiley’ Brown is furious an “un-Australian” crab pot thief ruined his Australia Day camping trip to Coonarr Creek.

Mr Brown and his two mates set five pots at the popular location south of Elliott Heads.

But four were stolen – in broad daylight, with people everywhere and only 300 metres from where they were camped.

“I was irate,” Mr Brown said.

“I was that disgusted someone could do that on Australia Day.

“It’s not that often we get together, just fishing, crabbing and chilling out.

“We were catching a few fish, a few crabs, having an absolutely fantastic weekend until that happened.

“It spoiled the whole trip.”

The trio had checked the pots at 5am on Australia Day, before re-setting them and waiting for the next tide later that afternoon.

They went back to check the pots at about 4pm, but four were gone.

“We just looked at each other – it was hard to find a reaction instantly,” Mr Brown said.

“We chatted to a couple of dudes who were sitting there fishing.”

They saw a man loading his boat at the ramp and noticed the two pots fitting the description Mr Brown had given them.

“They’re not common pots,” Mr Brown said. “They’re custom-made for pro crabbers.”

Mr Brown said the pots retailed for more than $70 each.

The fishermen gave Mr Brown a description of the suspect.

They said he was tattooed and drove a green dual-cab Hilux-style ute.

They described his boat as a flat-nosed punt.

Mr Brown said he “flew” back to the boat ramp, only to find the still-wet tyre tracks of the suspected thief’s vehicle.

“It looked like he’d taken off in a hurry,” Mr Brown said.

Mr Brown admitted he wanted this story to “put the wind up the bloke”, but said the pots’ return would go a long way to putting things right.

“If they want to grow a conscience overnight and want to be Australian, they can do the right thing; drop them (the pots) back at Tackleworld or over my back fence – no questions asked.”

He lives at 6 Buss Street.



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