Lucky 7 with Grant Ashwell

A high end consumer of hooks and trinkets who hungers for “BIG” fish from his kayak, Grant Ashwell takes our Lucky 7 interview this week.

1.What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Grant Ashwell and I live near Taree on the Mid North Coast. I came over from New Zealand in 1982 and became  an Australian citizen.

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

I am a high end consumer of hooks and trinkets that might help me catch a large pelagic fish so I guess I help keep people employed.  I do much of my fishing alone but do participate in a couple of internet kayak fishing forums.

I would like to think that I provide some inspiration to kayak fisher people and to others in general in showing that age is no barrier and dreams are achievable.DCIM100GOPRO

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

I was 6 yrs old and hand-lining from my uncles boat when I hooked an absolute monster that threatened to pull me overboard.  My uncle refused to help me and I eventually boated a modest Kahawai.  From that point on I hungered for “big” fish.   My father was a recreational fisherman and I spent many of my school holidays set-netting,  cray -potting and fishing.DCIM101GOPRO

4. What is your greatest fishing memory?

When I started chasing “big fish” from a kayak, I thought that I would remember each and every one.  Not so unfortunately but some “stick”.

The first  Marlin I hooked years ago when casting a metal slug  left me shaking with excitement and awe.

My first captured Marlin that towed me 12 kilometers but which I had alongside much earlier.  I had mentally rehearsed the fighting bit but then did not have much idea what to do when it was boat-side. I looked at it for so long that it revived and continued fighting for much longer.

I caught an estimated 35 kilo Long-tail this year.  The sheer power and speed of the hookup on a sunny day with flat seas epitomized “classic” kayak fishing for me.DCIM101GOPRO

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 yrs?

I’m 64 this year.   How long do off-shore kayak fisher people last?  Well, I have plenty of easier fishing options but I plan on leaving them until I get old.  Perhaps around age 75 I might do more river fishing but for now I focus on staying healthy and fit so that in 5 yrs time I will still be going off-shore and living my dream.DCIM100GOPRO

6. What’s at the top of the bucket list?

Until this year it was a decent  Wahoo.  I would like to get greater consistency with these critters as much for their exotica as fighting ability.

The one fish that I long for is a Cobia in the 40kg plus range.  I love the tension around gaffing these fellows and the relief I get when the fish is subdued.  Pure adrenaline for me.  I often dream about and  rehearse how it will happen.DCIM101GOPRO

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

I  have minimal physical contact with identities in the fishing community.

Print wise, I admire David Greens writings for his willingness to share his knowledge on many of the species I pursue.

On a personal level, my friends and sometimes fishing partners Louis and Graeme are valued for their wide experience, creativity and focus.

I also admire all those I have met and supported who have dreamt of catching a big fish(usually a Marlin) from a kayak and who have put in the hard yards in an attempt to make it happen.  From these people I get inspiration, lessons in patience and an appreciation of my own good fortune.DCIM101GOPRO

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