Peter Dienhoff said he and a friend had been fishing for barramundi Thursday and they were sleeping around midnight near the mouth of the South Alligator River, about 136 miles east of Darwin, when they were awakened by the boat shaking, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday.
"The boat was rocking, the cowling nearly got torn off by the crocodile," Dienhoff said. "We scampered down the back and turned the spotlight on and about five meters (16 feet, 4 inches) out the back of the boat the crocodile was laying there looking at us."
He said the croc was about 13 feet long.
"I've been fishing up here for 35 years and being on the water that time I thought I'd seen everything," he said. "But this one certainly takes the cake."
He said the animal took a chunk out of the boat's engine.
"This crocodile approached with no hissing or growling as they normally do before an attack," he said. "It just slipped out of the water and grabbed the outboard."