Fishing tackle consumer, lure tester, Daiwa ambassador, Fishing DVD presenter and magazine contributor. Sounds like the dream job, and it probably is… Andrew Badullovich would also like to add “fishing educator” to his resume, but first, he takes our Lucky 7 interview this week…
1. What’s your name and where are you from?
Most of my mates know me as “woof”; however, I am formally known as Andrew Badullovich…(I prefer woof) I was born in Parramatta NSW, but spent the majority of my life growing up and fishing around the Moruya area on the South Coast of NSW. I now reside with my wife and three kids in Merimbula.
2. What part do you play in the fishing community today?
My main role amidst the fishing fraternity as a teenager was spending every dollar of my pocket money, purchasing fishing magazines and buying lures; however, now days – I am submitting feature articles to those same magazines from which I learned so much…and now testing lures for Atomic, and rods ‘n’ reels for Daiwa.
I also present regular segments for, The Fishing DVD, as well as offer advice on all things piscatorial via my Face Book page, Andrew Badullovich Fishing. Giving back to the fishing community is what I am all about.
3. What was it that really got you into fishing and how old were you?
I was born into a fanatical fishing family; so naturally, I owned a fishing rod before I could walk. I can still remember catching my first fish; a flathead from the Moruya River. Accompanying my father on regular fishing trips definitely helped plant the angling seed into my bones; however, I believe my itch become harder to scratch after reading informative magazine articles on how to catch bream, flathead and bass on lures.
Watching video tapes of Ron Calcutt spinning from the stones, Rod Harrison skull dragging Papuan black bass to his punt, and Malcolm Florence battling giant black marlin really urged me to pursue fish with an array of artificial offering. It was my early years of around 12 years of age, when my passion for presenting artificial lures commenced. It quickly transpired to “catch and release” angling, and it was then…that fishing became a sport to me.
Artificial luring definitely had me pinned!
4. What is your greatest fishing memory?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have endured a plethora of monumental captures during my time as a recreational angler, leaving a lasting string of precious memories.
My first fish on a lure, (trout on soft plastic) a forty odd pound kingfish on a “bass rod”, to various fish caught on hand-tied flies…It’s hard to narrow down a favourite! Witnessing my wife beat an 8.7kg mulloway on 3lb braid and 4lb leader was pretty special; however, cracking my first bream over a kilo on lure is a very fond memory. I had tried for so long to pin a kilo bream, but lucked out so many times. They’d either win their freedom before seeing the landing net, or weigh in agonisingly shy of the magic mark. It seemed that everyone else had caught one except me! Then finally, a solo mission one frosty morning…it all came together.
My adrenalin surged so hard when I got my first glimpse of my nemesis, it was hard to hold steady as I graceful steered the beast toward the caress on the landing net. My hands were shaking so much as I placed her on the digital scales…1.4kg it read. I let out a yahoo, followed by a double fist pump before releasing her. I didn’t get a photo of this particular fish…but who needs a photo when you have a lasting memory. I’ve gone on now to catch a stack of kilo-plus bream; however, nothing beats your first! 😉
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’d be happy to be continuing my current roll, with the addition of possibly educating young anglers of the importance of a sustainable fishery. I would love to visit schools, and inform our younger brethren of the fishing community about environmental impacts and responsible harvesting. Topics such as; carefully selecting the correct size of fish to keep for the table, caring for the well-being of fish intended for release, and preserving breeding stocks would be my primary focus.
6. What’s top of the “bucket list”?
The top of my bucket list is to catch and release a meter-plus Barramundi. Whether it hails from an impoundment or comes from the wild saltwater…I don’t care! I’ve had minimal opportunity to tangle with our Aussie icon due to my southern basis; however, I plan on changing that in the very near future. My best to-date is a small 66cm length Barra…one I am proud of; however, not the “metery” I dream of.
7. Who do you look up to in the fishing community?
I look up to everyone who has played a role within the fishing fraternity; however, I must make a special mention about my good mate Steve Starling. Starlo has been a mentor, and opened a few doors for me in the process. I have gained a wealth of knowledge whilst fishing alongside Starlo, and his work for recreational angling is unsurpassed. It’s a great feeling to become good friends with your childhood hero, and it’s inspiring to see Steve’s passion within the fishing community. Steve is a great voice, for all rec’ fishers.