This week we give the Lucky 7 to a man behind the scenes in the Australian fishing community who is well known by all but many of you might not know he has as much passion for fishing (maybe more) as the anglers he organises during his work week.
1. What’s your name and where are you from?
Simon Goldsmith, born and bred in Brisbane. Moved around in SEQ as a kid, and lived in Townsville for two years from 2000-2002. I still miss the place……much to my wife’s displeasure (she hate’s the heat).
2. What part do you play in the fishing community today?
I’m currently working full-time as a Tournament Director with ABT and have done so since 2004, prior to that I was writing for FM and Fish n’ Boat magazines. In addition to my full time gig with ABT I also run a fishing blog www.angling-addiction.com in my spare time.
3. What was it that really got you into fishing and how old were you?
It was my mum’s love of fishing that got me in to it. I think I would have been about 6 or 7 when the bug first bit. Thanks mum!
Since then it’s been a snow ball effect, with my love and addiction growing as my exposure to fishing as increased. I can’t see me shaking my fishing and tackle addiction any time soon.
4. What is your greatest fishing memory?
I guess I have two, the first being from when I was kid. We used to spend Easter holidays at Burrum Heads near Hervey Bay. It was two weeks of pumping yabbies, chasing whiting and trying to catch the biggest flathead I could catch. It was basic, simple fishing, and I guess it was my introduction to fully immersing myself into fishing and setting angling goals.
The second is from my time in NQ. One session in particular stands out, it was an afternoon session fishing from my bass boat, late spring, water temperature 31 degrees, throwing topwaters for jacks and sooty grunter. In five hours I caught 32 jack, 36 sooties, and a couple of barra. It was all in crystal clear water and I saw every take. I still remember it, it was a Tuesday.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Still working in the industry, and hopefully continuing to enjoy it as much as I do today. My current roles are very much about, educating, entertaining and sharing the joy of fishing. All three are a must if we want to see the rec fishing industry evolve and grow. This is very much what ABT is about, and I’m keen to continue playing a role in this.
6. What’s top of the “bucket list”?
I’ve caught most of the species that I’ve ever wanted to catch, and I’ve refined the list to a few that bring me the most pleasure.
Sooty grunter and bass are the two that have most of my focus at the moment, and with the limited time I have available at the moment to fish I think it will be these two front and centre for some time. The sooty grunter in particular satisfy my love for reaction baits and baitcasters.
If there was one though that I had to pick before I bit the big one it would have to be spot-tail bass. From what I’ve seen it’s similar to what I’ve done in NQ, just turned up to 11. They’d have to be cast and retrieve by the way, none of this trolling stuff.
7. Who do you look up to in the fishing community?
The people that I look up to are those that take a real stewardship role within the industry and look to develop it for better outcomes for many, not just their own self interests. Ray Scott who started BASS in the US and really got the catch and release tournament ball rolling is someone that we owe a lot to, both here and abroad.
Closer to home Rex Hunt and Steve Morgan are two that have played a big part. Rex was instrumental in taking fishing, and in particular catch and release fishing, to the masses while Steve’s vision for Aussie tournament fishing has seen the development of tackle and boating markets that didn’t exist before, or if they did it certainly wasn’t to the level that they are now.
These developments aren’t just confined to the bream, bass and barra markets either, but have spilled over into many other areas of the industry. The willingness for Aussie anglers to buy hi-end lures, the growth of the squid fishing market at home, and the boom in anglers throwing soft plastics can all draw their origins from the tournament scene. Walk into any decent tackle store and take a look at the lure wall and you’ll see what I’m talking about.