A fisherman with more than 20 years experience on the Burnett River has reeled in a seahorse for the first time, wrapped around his lure.
When Adam Turner brought in his fishing line, what he thought was seaweed turned out to be something quite magnificent, albeit tiny.
The Bundaberg fisherman was chasing flathead in the Burnett River last Saturday but never expected to find a seahorse hitching a ride.
“I was at Strathdees with my brother-in-law and his son,” he said.
“We were fishing as part of the Daiwa competition for flathead and I was vibing my lure off the bottom.”
When Adam reeled in, he saw the “seaweed”.
“That’s when I realised what it actually was,” he said.
“I was blown away. I’ve never seen something as cool as a seahorse.”
According to onekindplanet.org, there are about 40 known species of seahorse in the world.
A seahorse propels itself by using a small fin on their back that flutters up to 35 times per second.
They swim upright and avoid predators by mimicking the colour of underwater plants.
Seahorses are monogamous and mate for life and are among the only animal species on Earth in which the male bears the unborn young.
They live in sheltered areas such as seagrass beds, estuaries, coral reefs and mangroves. Although found in tidal rivers, it's considered unusual to find one in the Burnett.
Burnett seahorse surprise
Adam said the tiny creature was about 5-6cm long and was just as curious of him as he was of it.
“As soon as I put it in my hand the seahorse unravelled itself and turned to look at me,” he said.
“It had not been caught on the hook, but had simply accidentally wrapped itself around my lure.
“I didn’t catch it, it caught me!”
The keen fisho said it was the first time he had ever seen a seahorse up close.
“I have my own business called Pristine Lures and I have been custom-making lures for 20 years,” he said.
“That means I have fished out on the Burnett a lot but I have never seen anything like it.”
Adam said after snapping a photo and video of the seahorse, the creature was let back into the river again.
“I handled it with great care,” he said.
And as for the fishing competition, the seahorse may just have been Adam’s lucky charm for the day.
“We ended up with six good flathead, my biggest was 71 centimetres,” he said.
“Now, you wouldn’t believe it, but I am actually coming sixth place in the whole statewide competition.”
Find out more about Pristine Lures here.
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