NSW South Coast local Nick Reay takes our Lucky 7 Interview today. An ambassador for Frogleys Offshore, Duffrods and Lowrance, Nick is an avid fly fisher, sports fishing enthusiast and Tournament angler who started on “the ground floor” and worked his up.
1. What’s your name and where are you from?
Nick Reay 42 yrs old, I was born in Sydney in 1972 where my family lived until I was 3. Luckily for me they wanted a seachange and purchased a new property on the shore of Lake Macquarie, Kilaben Bay to be exact. This is where my fishing all began. Fast forward 22yrs where I joined the Royal Australian Navy and now reside in Vincentia smack bang in the between two NSW iconic waterways. Jervis Bay and St Georges Basin, I have lived in Shoalhaven now for the last 15yrs
2. What part do you play in the fishing community today?
I represent three companies on a professional basis. My biggest sponsor being FrogleysOffshore, Duffrods & Lowrance. In return I provide public speaking about their products and the uses and also compete on the bream tournament scene.
3. What was it that really got you into fishing and how old were you?
As I mentioned earlier I grew up on the shores of Lake Macquarie and it was a natural progression for a kid to be drawn to the water. As soon as I could throw a hand line I was spending nearly every waking moment out on the end of our family jetty learning all I could about fishing. Eventually my fishing became mobile through the use of the family Brooker 12fter and the old blue and white top Evinrude 6hp. With that I was off exploring new areas. Soon the boats grew bigger and I was able to fish even more further from home. As we all know once the bug bites it bites hard! Back then it was not unfamiliar to see giant flocks of seagulls chasing the baitfish hunted to the surface by maruading tailor back in those days and it was always fun capitilising on these for an easy feed of tailor and some fast action.
It was around the age of 14-15 that I got hooked on the light line aspects of sportfishing. This eventuated soon after my first trout fishing trip away with my father. Worthy of note is he has never been into fishing but luckily for me he enjoyed camping and the country. I had saved up for a small box of trout lures celtas, jensen insects and a Rebel crawdad lure. I’d also been doing as much reading as possible and had discovered flyfishing. Wanting to give anything to do with fishing a go I managed to persuade my mum and dad to fork out for a brand new $60 Abu flyrod and a Rimfly fly reel (man how my expectations in fishing gear has evolved lol). This is where my passion for fishing really kicked of as on this trip I managed to land a 10lb brown and it was during the christmas holidays.
Once home I started reading all I could about light line lure casting and I started practicing out on the end of the jetty at home. I can clearly remember my first bream on a lure it was on a red and silver celta to be exact.
I practiced my fly casting on mullet and eventually started chasing bass on both lure and fly from there is was simply a progression through all forms of fishing.
4. What is your greatest fishing memory?
My greatest fishing memory is a recent one. I took my then 12yr old son out for his first kingfish session down off Narooma at Montague Island. We had just finished sounding out a good school of kings and I handed my son a 50lb jigging outfit and after a quick explanation on how to use it he made his first drop. He was on right away and landed 6 fish around the 8kg size in a row and he was broken, he then spent the next 5hrs watching, but he didn’t stop smiling for days despite his sore back and arms. It’s this kind of thing that I see as my greatest feat. Nothing is better than watching your child succeed my fishing tournament wins and placings and personal successes come a distant second. You fathers out there will get what I’m trying to explain, nothing beats it!
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 yrs well that’s a long time in fishing, I’d like to get into a little fishing photography and article writing no doubt at some stage after dabbling in it in past. I do know I’ll still own a boat and my son will be right there next to me probably sinking the gaff! I don’t really have any plans I’ll just be going with the flow other than that.
6. What’s top of the “bucket list”?
Top of my bucket list would definitely have to be a 90lb Giant Tarpon on fly closely followed by chasing Peacockbass.
7. Who do you look up to in the fishing community?
I look up to anyone who has come in at the ground floor and worked their way up, despite the knock backs they have persisted and kept going to succeed. unfortunately we are surrounded by generation “I want it now”. There is no substitute for grit and determination and with that will come the experience and eventually the recognition!