He’s involved in fishing tackle research and development, has won a BREAM Classic Grand Final and he’s a die hard fisho. Tom Slater takes our Lucky 7 interview this week.
1. What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Tom Slater, I was born in a north QLD town called Bowen and grew up in the even smaller country town of Collinsville. I now live in Brisbane about 50m from a Nando’s…life is hard.
2. What part do you play in the fishing community today?
At the moment I work for Nomad Tackle, who are the Australian distributors for the global brands of Sebile and 13 Fishing. I am fortunate enough to handle a lot of our research and development and have some awesome things in the pipeline.
Previous to that I worked for many years in the retail side of the industry at a shop called Fish Head, which really fueled my passion for high end quality tackle and led me to many great friendships and connections.
I also really love fishing the various tournaments around Australia, I enjoy the social side of it the most, catching up with friends I have made through my years in the industry, the odd good finish here and there is icing on the cake.
3. What was it that really got you into fishing and how old were you?
That one is easy! My Dad was a mad keen fisherman back when I was growing up in Collinsville. He loved taking me and my brother Matt out to the Bowen River to catch Sooty Grunter and the odd Barra.
When we started the Bowen River Fish Stocking Association is when things really took off, every spare minute for the months prior to us relocating to Brisbane would see me and dad on the riverbank catching and releasing the Barramundi we had helped replenish into the river system.
When we relocated to Brisbane my fishing passion got sidetracked for a number of years as I concentrated on playing junior golf, it was only when a school friend and myself bought a small tinny together I got right back into it.
4. What is your greatest fishing memory?
That’s a tough one, there is so many. I might have to list a few here.
1. Back in Collinsville, my dad used to make his own lures for us and a few of his mates. I remember for some reason I had a fascination with Flathead at some stage, and requested my dad make me a Flathead shaped lure, paint it green with yellow lightning bolts on the top. Catching the first fish on my flathead lure is definitely right up there!
2. The first time Duncan O’Connell took me offshore outside of Moreton Bay to experience GT popping, I’d never done anything like it before and to see a pack of hungry GTs smash down a school of bait on the surface so close to Brisbane was awesome! Since then I’ve gone on to catch my fair share of GTs all over the world and am incredibly grateful for all the knowledge passed down to me from people like Duncan.
3. Definitely CXI, last year I travelled to Christmas Island (Kiribati) with a bunch of mates and my dad, catching Bonefish on techniques I’d usually use on Bream and then to catch them on fly was incredible.
4. Winning the 2012 Teams Grand Final should probably rank pretty highly, that was an awesome weekend of fishing!
5. I could keep going on forever, but fishing with Toshinari Namiki in 2012 in Japan was just the most insane experience ever! Possibly the most famous Japanese Bass fisherman and creator of OSP, spending a day on the water with him (and catching my first Large Mouth Bass) was an experience I’ll never forget.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Not sure, I have so many things I want to do in my life I’m not sure which will come next, but I’m sure fishing will play a part somehow!
6. What’s top of the “bucket list”?
I’d love to catch Bass in America, but probably number one would be a close tie between Peacock Bass in the Amazon and Black Bass in PNG
There are so many people who have helped me get to where I’m at now.
Firstly Duncan O’Connell from Fish Head, that was my first stepping stone into the industry and to work at such an awesome shop was a privilege
Bradley Sissins, probably has more industry knowledge than anyone I know and I value his friendship very highly.
Steve Morgan and Simon Goldsmith, these guys do more for the tournament scene than anyone else, without them we wouldn’t have one to compete in.
Trent Short, I’ve been friends with Trent since I first met him through work many years ago. He is a first class fisherman and someone I owe a lot to.
Roderick Walmsley and Glanville Heydenrych, probably the two most excitable South Africans I know, these guys could catch a fish in a bathtub if they had to.
Tristan Taylor and Grayson Fong, both dead set legends both on and off the water!