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Whale of an shark encounter for fisherman

Passengers onboard Cairns Reef Fishing Charters' vessel encounter a whale shark. Photo: Jason Mansfield
Passengers onboard Cairns Reef Fishing Charters' vessel encounter a whale shark. Photo: Jason Mansfield

A GRAND day fishing on the Great Barrier Reef was made even better for a boatload of tourists who encountered the biggest fish on the planet.

A dozen passengers who joined Cairns Reef Fishing on Tuesday were visited by a juvenile whale shark as it swam up to their vessel near Green Island.

Cairns Reef Fishing Charters skipper Daniel Kelly said the harmless shark, estimated to be about 5m long, was an inquisitive creature.

Passengers onboard Cairns Reef Fishing Charters' vessel encounter a whale shark. Photo: Jason Mansfield
Passengers onboard Cairns Reef Fishing Charters' vessel encounter a whale shark. Photo: Jason Mansfield

Passengers onboard Cairns Reef Fishing Charters' vessel encounter a whale shark. Photo: Jason Mansfield
"It hung around the boat for maybe 15-20 minutes," he said.

"It was not shy at all. It even came up and touched the duckboard.

"It was really cool."

Whale sharks are considered rare on the Great Barrier Reef, however, there has been an increase in sightings of the filter-feeding animals.

Mr Kelly said the encounter added to a wonderful outing on the Reef.

"We've had awesome weather the last two weeks," he said.

"It's been good fishing, too, with heaps of trout around and heaps of nannygai.

"It's coming up to the spawning season for fish we target, too, so they're everywhere trying to get bellies full of food for mating."

Topics:  cairns fishing great barrier reef whale

News Corp Australia