Jai and Heath Aughton hooked this stonefish while fishing under the Noosa Sound Bridge.
Jai and Heath Aughton hooked this stonefish while fishing under the Noosa Sound Bridge. Jai Aughton

Stonefish caught at Noosa, just metres away from children

DOONAN brothers Jai and Heath Aughton were on a regular fishing trip in Noosa when they hooked what they thought was a rock.

Seconds later they realised they'd caught the most venomous fish in the world.

"I do know there are a lot around, but I've never seen one. We couldn't believe it," Jai said.

"Heath thought it was a rock or rubbish. Then it stuck its flaps out.

"We saw the spines on the top. Lucky we didn't grab it.

"It was actually foul hooked on the top of the fish but we managed to get it out with some pliers."

Blissfully playing in the water around them was a family from Melbourne totally unaware of the danger.

"We weren't sure what to do with it. They play an important role in nature but we didn't want the children to stand on it," he said.

"So we went and told the family and then safely put it back.

"Everyone swims around those areas but catching one was strange. It was a bit 'how ya going?'"

Funnily enough, that was the boys only catch of the day, but, as Jai said, "at least they reeled in a good story".


Sunshine Coast woman describes stonefish pain as worse than childbirth

Man stung at Bulcock beach and rushed to hospital

Teen catches deadly stonefish at boat ramp

Stonefish facts

When: Found all year round, reports increase with more people in area

Where: Right along northern parts of Australian coastline. Particularly common in mouths of rivers and estuaries. Often found in Pumicestone Passage and Maroochy, Mooloolah and Noosa Rivers.

Habitat: Creek mouths with murky waters, sand, rocks and weeds.

Why: Masters of camouflage who use spines as defence. They partly bury themselves in sand as they wait for prey.

Local Partners