IT is with a heavy heart that I type today’s column.
After 15 years of weekly reports for the Rural Press Network, without missing a week rain hail or shine, this is my last ‘regular’ column.
Reason? My family has asked to try living further north. Too often they’ve seen me return from northern sojourns in board shorts and a t-shirt while they endure a freezing Canberra Winter.
Filming the Fishing Australia Series takes me all over this country. My crew and I typically head north in the cooler months, and my wife and kids want to try the same.
Of course, I often film local episodes thanks to the quality and variety of fishing.
By locally I mean Inland NSW, Canberra and surrounds, the Snowy Mountains and the NSW South Coast.
More importantly these areas have been the core of these weekly newspaper columns.
Younger readers might not realize that it was right here in Queanbeyan where I started this column and my ‘fishing journalist’ career.
This column has taken me to some incredible places throughout this region, and along the way I’ve met our best local anglers, and of course caught some magnificent fish.
There has always been the big glamour fish such as jewfish, Murray cod, snapper, marlin and various tuna etc.
But more often than not this column has been driven by my insatiable desire to show newcomers and everyday anglers how to readily enjoy the more standard sized and reliable fish this region offers.
I look back at how this column started and it took a lot of time and effort to convince some newspapers that fishing deserved a regular spot.
But then things took off. Many local papers now have their own regular local fishing writers educating local anglers. I feel I have had something to do with this and it makes me proud.
I will see to it that this column will still continue. Guest columnists such as Craig Coughlan, Luke Evans, Simon Kaminskas, Stan Gorton among others are picking up the ball and will run with it.
I hope you enjoy the efforts of the writers that you’ll be seeing in these pages, and in between the occasional guest column from me.
For now however, I’ll bid farewell. But as always, I’ll look forward to seeing you on the water.