Give a person a rod, some bait and a river, lake or vast ocean and he/she is a Happy Fisherman! Be it the Northern estuaries chasing Barramundi, the Southern waters fishing for Snapper and King George Whiting, or the Inland waters seeking Trout and native fish such as Murray Cod each of us is in our element. We are happy fisherman!
Each year some 3.5 million Australians actively participate in recreational fishing. Most people would agree that their motivation for fishing is to relax and unwind. The recreational fisherman is not necessarily driven by the need to catch fish for food but simply the serenity that fishing offers.
I came to Australia in 1988. Back in those days i was playing guitar with a band called Fire ‘n’ Ice, lots of gigs and loud music every week. To get away from the loud music and noisy venues, I would escape to some of my favorite fishing spots. Since i was 8yo i enjoyed being around water. I would get in trouble as a child, as i would go to play and fish at our local river without telling my parents (the school yard was boring). It was easy for them to know where I was, the fishing rods would be missing yet again (some lovely old bamboo rods). Coming to live in Melbourne was fantastic. Water all around. I would fish Piers, Rivers, Creeks or Lakes. Even when i didn’t catch anything I was still happy. There is just something calming about being around water. Luck came my way when my ex-father in law – Bert Van Kampean -introduced me to boats. So, the fishing bug went full bloom – from Bermagui to Port McDonnell. The hardest thing for me was to work out was my rigs! What bait for what fish, and what type of fish was on at the time. No YouTube no google, just will power (Can you imagine life pre Google?). That’s why I decided to invest some time and share what i learned over the years and make things easier for upcoming new generations taking on this hobby. Next time you go camping maybe take a rod and reel with you. Please feel free and share our website with friends.
I was lucky to live less than a kilometre from the Danube DTD channel. I was introduced to fishing by older friends when I was 6 years old, we had no rods or reels and from an early age we learnt to fish by using our hands. We would look for nooks around tree roots and other naturally formed hiding places where fish would love to hang out. Carp were the most common but we were catching European Pike, they were a bit of a challenge (very sharp set of teeth) but a beautiful fish. That was my first fishing experience as a six year old. There were fish everywhere, until our farmers due to economic pressures started spraying crops for bigger yields and faster growth, one of the first casualties of modern farming, the fish slowly disappeared. Even though they called their farms organic, all I can say is organic?? how?? Rivers where healthy and there was a cycle of reproducing and replenishing conducted by nature not by science. Politics on the side, my first fishing rod was made of “reed” cut from locally growing reed readily found in our local swamps. It did take a while for me to upgrade to bamboo.. My float was a goose feather, and i can tell you it works perfectly fine! As a teenager i managed to get myself a Shakespeare reel which started a new era for me. I came to Australia in 1995 and i started fishing regularly on the beautiful rivers and lakes found here. Lake Colac was my favorite place, till I caught my first eel which made me drop the rod and run away (it was just too much like a snake and it still makes me shiver at the thought). I started salt water fishing slowly my preference was fresh water, now every chance i get I spend it on Port Phillip Bay!!!! How much better can life get than fishing on the bay.