Angler reeling over stolen spots
THERE'S something fishy going on around here.
Keen angler Cecil Cross has been left reeling following the theft of his secret fishing spots - co-ordinates collected over three decades.
With the Rainbow Beach Fishing Classic just weeks away, Mr Cross reckons the GPS system on his boat was targeted for his much sought after deep sea fishing locations.
Mr Cross is well-known among fishing circles for taking out the prize every year for biggest red emperor at his local fishing competition.
He repeatedly pulls in those big red emperors to secure wins in the Classic's deep sea and big fish categories.
Speculation about where he goes to catch these awesome fish has been building over the years at the fishing comp.
"People talk. Everyone knows me at the Classic," Mr Cross said.
He believes the theft was planned and could have been carried out by one of his rivals, except of course, those who honour the recreational fishing code of conduct.
As well as the GPS and fishing co-ordinates, a 'fishfinder' and two fishing rods and reels were taken from the half-cabin fishing boat, parked undercover behind the Cross family home on Gympie's Southside.
"It hurts to think someone would rob you for the sake of a prize," Mr Cross said.
"It had to be done by someone that knows of my fishing (history) and wants to know my co-ordinates."
Around $8000 worth of navigating equipment will be replaced, but Mr Cross is unsure whether it will happen in time for the fishing competition.
"I don't know if I will even bother now. They've got all my good marks."
Mr Cross was preparing to take his grandchildren fishing on Sunday when he noticed the missing equipment. He got so worked up he nearly kicked the side of his beloved boat, Happy Hunter, which he's owned for three decades.
He suspects the theft happened sometime during the previous week and is spreading the word among his fishing mates. Serial numbers have been provided to police and forensics officers are examining fingerprints found on the boat.