Lureandfly.com starts a new series this week where we give the same seven questions to people throughout the fishing community. We figured, why not start it off big with Steve Morgan who is arguably one of the best known figures in Australian fishing today.
1. What’s your name and where are you from?
My name’s Steve Morgan and I pretend to be a reformed fish-a-holic. But I’m not. Born in Melbourne but have liven in Brisbane since I was two with a half-year stint in Hobart in the early nineties.
2. What part do you play in the fishing community today?
I own Fishing Monthly Group (FMG) which publishes the Fishing Monthly suite of magazines in QLD, NSW, VIC and TAS as well as the AFTR trade magazine and the Tournament Angler Guide. FMG is also part owner of ABT tournaments and the AFC TV show, which I hosted in Series 8.
I try to fish at least once a week, but with a young family I fish nowhere near as much as I used to. I allocate all of my time to the ABT BREAM events nowadays at the expense of teams-style gigs. I try to lead by example by sharing all of my techniques and styles of fishing.
With ABT I enjoy taking resources donated from the industry and putting them through a structure that stimulates the fishing economy.
Ultimately, I’d love to have AFC be 100% funded by out-of-insudtry sponsors. There’d be nothing better than fast moving consumer products paying for the promotion of recreational fishing.
3. What was it that really got you into fishing and how old were you?
I really got hooked on the technical side of fishing from about 10 years old onwards by reading hundreds of fishing magazines. I inherited a big box of national glossies and read them all cover to cover. Whenever dad took me fishing I’d be trying to catch stuff on lures and live bait when he was fishing with mullet gut and worms.
I contributed my first article to South Queensland Fishing Monthly when I was 15 and in Year 10 at school in the magazine’s second ever issue.
When I was 11, the folks bought a beach house at New Brighton in Northern NSW and I learned how to catch bream and flathead on lures in that river.
4. What is your greatest fishing memory?
There’s so many, but the least repeatable is probably my first day fishing as a “Pro” rather than a “co-angler” in a FLW event on Clear Lake in California. I’d spotted a big (largemouth) bass in a small feeder creek about a week before. I landed it flipping a chartreuse Senko within 10 yards of where I’d originally spotted it.
It anchored a 22lb 12oz bag and I sat in 5th place in a 200-boat field after the first day and the bass weighed exactly 10 pounds.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
If all goes to plan, FMG will continue to be strong enough to support ABT and AFC until they can stand alone. Currently, the ‘big brother’ still pulls them through.
Personally, I’d like to fish more and be involved at the strategic level to fit all the parts of the industry together. We’ve got quite a few good people in recreational fishing, but various reasons – ego, cash flow, fear, inability, greed – keep them from working together.
It seems like there’s too many people fighting for a slice of the pie and too few thinking about how to make a bigger pie!
6. What’s top of the “bucket list”?
I loved bonefishing with fly when I did that for a week while backpacking in Mexico with some mates. I think sight fishing 100 oceanic bonefish in 6 inches of water in a week somewhere tropical would be nice. For me, if fishing isn’t visual, I lose interest pretty quickly.
As a personal goal, though, I want to fish an entire ABT season with limits in each Qualifier all year. I was 50/50 before the Tweed this year and now I’m 57/60. Maybe next year …..
7. Who do you look up to in the fishing community?
While ‘on the tools’ I’ve edited nearly every major fishing writer in Australia. Steve Starling and Ian Miller were virtually flawless, technically. Starlo is also the most skilled presenter I’ve ever worked with – period.
Carl Jocumsen gets the kudos for being ballsy enough to put it all on the line and back his skills on the toughest circuit on the planet. He’s definitely got the ability to make it in the USA – big time. And I’ll proudly admit that he started with ABT.
My brother, Tim Morgan, taught me not to take it all too seriously and is a great angler but I’m incredibly jealous of Chris Wright‘s natural fishing ability. He’s a guy who you can put on any fishery in the country and he’ll catch ‘em.
Behind the scenes, my business partners - Robyn Lawrie and Matthew Drinkall - are awesome at what they do and they allow me to get out of the day-to-day chores and think strategically.
A big thanks to Steve for taking the time to answer our seven questions and if you have anyone you’d like to answer the lucky seven let us know on our Facebook page.