Fishing writer, Gary Brown takes our Luck 7 interview this week. Gary is both an ambassador and educator and loves nothing more than to inspire other anglers to improve their fishing skills.
1. What’s your name and where are you from?
Gary Brown (Brownie or GB) and I reside in the Sutherland Shire in Sydney.
2. What part do you play in the fishing community today?
I currently deliver fishing classes at a couple of tackle shops in Sydney and I also carry out fishing talks on behalf of Pure Fishing Australia relaying the message to other anglers out there on how great the Pflueger and Shakespeare rods and reels are that I use.
These talks are not just about how, when and where to use soft plastics, hard bodied lures and blades, I also cover the how when and why to use bait in the estuaries, off shore and even off the rocks and beach.
My wife Leanne has always told me that I have a very competitive streak in me and this is one of the reasons why I love fishing the bream and flathead comps. But this is not the only reason I take part in these comps. What you do find is that you can learn so much from the other competitors that will improve and fine tune the techniques that I currently use. As they say you are never too old to learn.
3. What was it that really got you into fishing and how old were you?
From what I have been told by my parents that I first held some fishing gear in my hand when I was about three or four. It was a coke bottle with some line wrapped around it. It wasn’t long after that I was given my first solid fibreglass fishing rod at about five. In the early sixties I started fishing for leatherjackets with my dad from a waterproof masonite boat (yes masonite) that my cousin had made. This boat lasted for around six months until dad put his foot through the floor while we were out fishing off Sans Souci.
I then brought my first ever real boat from the Walton’s store at Bankstown square. Dad brought the trailer and motor and drove me to where I would launch it and then come and pick me up. That is if he didn’t stay and fished with me.
I have been fishing off the beaches since I was 10 and the rocks since I was 14 and over the years I have travelled around the coastline of Australia fishing in both very populated and remote areas. In those early years most of my beach and rock fishing was concentrated from Palm Beach in Sydney and down to Seven Mile Beach at Gerroa. It was when I turned 21 that I felt the urge to explore many other beaches and rocks that can be found around Australia. In 1975 I found myself in Western Australia fishing beaches and rock platforms from Yanchep, just north of Perth and south to Margaret River. While over in the west I also fished some of the remote beaches from Cape Freycinet to Albany. On my way back to the east coast of Australia I fished at places like Ceduna, Portland, Barwon Heads, Wilson’s Promontory and Mallacoota.
4. What is your greatest fishing memory?
Over the years I have had so many great fishing memories;
- Catching two 30 kilo yellowfin tuna on 10 kilo line while cubing at Browns Mountain.
- Winning an ABT Bream Tournament as a non-boater at Lake Macquarie.
- Winning the WSBB Bream Scramble on Sydney Harbour with Carl Dubois.
- Making the Grand Final of the BETS Series in 2013 with a great mate of mine Dave Tosland.
- Catching a 17 kilo Dog Salmon in Victoria in British Columba, Canada.
- But most of all would be the thought that I have given some of my knowledge that I have learnt over the years to someone else and to see the look of excitement on their face when they create their own fishing memory.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
My wife Leanne reckons that I am obsessed with fishing, but it is something that I have always loved doing from a very young age and hopefully I will still be able to do that for many years to come.
I would like to be able to travel more with Leanne and fish, write and photograph our travels. Put together more books and articles for a variety of Publishers and Editors.
Also to continue to teach others both young and old through my fishing classes and talks and in a small way hopefully inspires other anglers to improve their fishing skills.
6. What’s top of the “bucket list”?
I am going to turn 60 this year and I have never caught a Barra, so that would be great.
Also I would like have ago at tangling with a mangrove jack or a Murray Cod.
7. Who do you look up to in the fishing community
Alan Perry for his mateship, wisdom and guidance on how to fine tune my fishing ability when it comes to fishing from the rocks and the beach.
Steve Morgan for taking the time out to give me some very astute advice when it came to producing and selling our first ever video “A Day on the Bay” and also for his continual support while contributing for NSWFM.
Steve Williams is one of the longest fishing guides I have known and Steve helped me out when I was putting together a national fishing course for TAFE NSW. The knowledge that Steve has on freshwater fishing is incredible and you couldn’t find a better person. No matter how young or old someone is Steve will go out of his way to put you onto a fish.
Back in 2001 I had an idea I putting together a book on boat ramps in Sydney and after a short conversation with Bill Classon he gave me the opportunity to pen and photograph my first ever book (A Guide to Fishing Sydney-Hawkesbury’s Waterways) back that was first published in 2002. To me, this was a great leap of faith by Bill for someone who he had only known for a very short time. Since then I have now put together four more books for AFN.
John Bell and Phil Coles from Purefishing, Gareth Williams from Tackle Tactics and Bruce Alvey from Alvey who have shared their great knowledge of the fishing industry and have also supported me with sponsorship over the years.
All of these guys were extremely helpful through my early days as a part-time freelance writer and photographer and they still continue to inspire and help me along the way. I can’t thank them enough.