Trolls torment fisher with 'sexual, degrading' barbs
A SUNSHINE COAST woman has been subjected to "sexual, degrading" online hate simply for showing off her prized fishing catch in a "man's world".
Last month Coolum's Melanie Ottaway was thrilled about snaring an "elusive" Mangrove Jack and posted the photos to a closed fishing Facebook group.
It was a group exclusively meant for that species of fish.
She got more than she bargained for, with a torrent of hate coming her way from a portion of its thousands of members.
The photos were of herself and her catch - with the 30-year-old decked out in appropriate gear, long-sleeved fishing shirts and a sun-safe hat.
The "sexist, degrading and generally inappropriate" comments flooded her notifications, all made by men of varying ages.
"That's hot as f---" or "jeez I'd like to be that fish" part of the sleazy lines.
She said it went well into the night, before the group's admin eventually deleted her post.
Long enough to leave a lasting impression.
"I honestly felt like a piece of meat, the comments were really degrading and inappropriate, just because I was a woman," Ms Ottaway said.
"All I was doing was trying to show off my fish, Jack are a difficult fish to catch and I was proud of it.
"It made me feel like s---. It was a closed group just for fishers and I thought it was a safe place.
"Sometimes it is such a sexist world, men should have more respect."
The online "rampage" didn't stop in the comments section.
She was inundated with friend requests from strangers which forced her to change her details.
"It's like they'd never seen a girl with a fish before," she said.
"It's not like I was wearing a bikini. I was a sweaty, stinking mess.
"I just want to be treated equally."
Ms Ottaway has travelled all over the country chasing fish, competed in national competitions and hunted massive barramundi in the Kimberley region.
While it hasn't deterred her from dropping a line in, she wants men to realise the behaviour is not okay.
"It's not fair for this to happen to women in this day and age, " she said.
"I've been fishing for more than 10 years and love it but this is ridiculous."