Yoann Galeran, 29, said he was swimming to retrieve a dingy in Nhulunbuy's Gove Harbor after dark Sunday when he felt the crocodile grab him by the head, the Darwin newspaper the Northern Territory News reported Monday.
Galeran said the croc dragged him underwater and started spinning him around.
"With my hand I touched the body of the croc underneath the skull," he said. "I pushed him and had the chance to escape.
The fisherman said the crocodile only had a hold on his head for about a second, but he discovered upon reaching the dingy that he had two puncture wounds on the back of his neck and three or four puncture wounds on the sides of his head.
Galeran was treated at Nhulunbuy Hospital and released.