Lucky 7 with Jim Harnwell

This week Jim Harnwell takes on our  Lucky 7 Interview. No stranger to the fishing industry, Jim is the editor and publisher for Fishing World and has played a major role in developing and maintaining recreational fishing.

1. What’s your name and where are you from?

Jim Harnwell. I was born in Sydney but moved to the South Coast of NSW when I was about one (don’t really remember the exact details!). Grew up fishing the Shoalhaven River with my mates. Apart from a bit of time in Sydney working for mainstream newspapers and magazines, and a few years at Bathurst in the early 1990s while studying at uni, I have lived on the South Coast all my life. My wife Mel and I have three kids – Jack, 17, Harry 13 and Suzie, 6 – and we live 15 minutes from the water.

2. What part do you play in the fishing community today? 

I have been the editor and publisher of Fishing World magazine since 1995. More recently I have taken a directorship with Keep Australia Fishing as I’m committed to doing what I can to ensure our fishing rights are maintained and not eroded by anti-fishing groups or misguided decisions made by ignorant politicians.

3. What was it that really got you into fishing and how old were you?

I honestly can’t remember a time when I wasn’t keen on fishing. I’ve always fished whenever I could. It’s just part of who I am.

4. What is your greatest fishing memory?

I’ve been very lucky with my job at Fisho to have experienced some amazing fishing action. The things that really stick out in my mind include an 8lb bonefish I caught on fly in New Caledonia, a 50kg southern bluefin tuna I caught last season off Bermagui, some amazing golden trevally action while fly fishing with Pete Pakula on the flats at Cape York, surface fishing for wild bass last summer up the Shoalhaven River with my good buddy Wes Murphy, some amazing big snapper fishing off Arno Bay in SA with my son Jack and mates Jamie Crawford and Riley Tolmay, soft plasticing for coral trout on the Great Barrier Reef, popping for massive GTs in the Coral Sea, sight casting bream with stickbaits, fly fishing those majestic NZ rivers etc etc …

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully still doing what I love with Fishing World! I’m also very keen on further developing our website and online TV operations, staying at the cutting edge of digital publishing and working with angling organisations and the tackle industry to ensure Australian anglers maintain access to our fisheries.

6. What’s top of the fishing “bucket list”?

I’m pretty keen on focusing my efforts over the next season in my home waters for species including jewfish, snapper and kingfish.

7. Who do you look up to in the fishing community?

I admire people with credibility, humility and passion.  I particularly respect David Green, Dean Butler, Allan Hansard, Martin Salter, Bill Watt, Pat Brennan, Lefty Kreh, Phillip Coles, the late Jack Erskine, Warren Smith, John Newbery, Peter Zeroni, Ken Smith, Adam Royter, Neil Patrick, Chris Cleaver, Aku Valta, Sami Omari, Mark Williams, Kaj Busch, Rod Harrison, Pete Pakula and the great John Dunphy. There are plenty of other people I admire and respect as well but there’s not enough room to list them all!

[with thanks to Peter Zeroni for the Jewfish image]

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