1 - Name, age and where’s home?
Scott Gray, 32, Port Fairy.
2 - How long have you been fishing – can you remember your very first fish?
Ever since I was 3 years old. The first fish I ever caught was a redfin at Lake Eildon in Victoria. I thought it was going to pull me in!
3 - How many days a year do you fish?
120 days – but never all day – I’ve got kids!
4 - What’s your favourite lure or bait?
My deadliest is probably the Black Troll fly – its dynamite on trout in flooded dirty water. I love trolling livies for jewies, too, as well as fishing plastics for kingfish – a bit of everything really depending on the time of year.
5 - Who are your three most influential or admired people in angling, and why?
My dad’s responsible for getting me into fishing and I admire anybody who shows respect for our fisheries resources. There are some people living amazing lives out there in the fishing industry, using and developing new tackle and fishing new destinations. They make me want to get out there more, to try new things and travel.
6 - If you had three wishes, what would change about today's fishing world?
1. The current fishing regulations for many of our key recreational species – most of them are just arbitrary figures with little or no scientific basis. I think the bag and size limits for most species are generally pretty generous in Victoria and could do with some tightening.
I believe everybody’s entitled to catch a feed and I’ve no problem with that – but I’ve seen some horrible yet legal slaughters where the fish would have just ended up in the bin or at the tip. For example, is keeping a bag limit catch of good bream with a combined age of over 200 years really sustainable?
2. You should have to do a test before you can get your fishing licence – you need one to shoot, drive cars and boats and so on, so why not for fishing? Then people have got no excuse if they do the wrong thing.
3. I wish for more wishes! (you didn’t say I couldn’t say that!)
7 - List some of your PB’s - any species you like.
Well like most anglers I’m happy if there’s something on the end of my line and it’s big! But here are my favourite captures:
2.05kg black bream
80kg southern bluefin tuna
18kg yellowtail kingfish
8 - You’ve got one month left to live - where and how do you fish your last days?
Depending on the season I’d try and do a bit of everything – probably go up north or something. I hope it never comes to this, and anyway the fishing would have to be good in Heaven or otherwise I would flatly refuse to go through the gates!
9 - When you are six foot under, what will other anglers best remember you for?
Probably my love for fishing and the environment, somebody who tried to leave the world a better place than when they found it – someone who cared. They’d say ‘yeah old Scotty planted that big tree hanging over the river, it’s a good perch snag now’. Trying to make good fishing for future generations.
10 - What was your worst fishing experience?
There are so many – it comes with the territory – but here’s a couple.
Losing a flyline on a 15–20kg yellowtail kingfish. At least I can say that I had him on!
Playing out what I thought was a big jewie on a small soft plastic for 1.5 hours, up and down my local creek into the darkness – and then finding out it was an eagle ray. Shattered! And yes it was hooked in the mouth. Some of my mates came down to check out the commotion. They’d been at the pub up the road and my mate had rung them and told them to bring down a big gaff. They pissed themselves laughing when we found out it was a ray - some of them fell over with laughter! I’ll never live that one down.
11 - What are some of your hottest sessions or greatest memories on the water?
Catching big southern bluefin earlier this year, watching them bust up and getting smashed up on heavy gear – and getting a few in the boat too!
Fishing in Arnhemland for queenies, barra, salmon GTs…one hot session last dry season I caught about nine species of fish on the fly and they were all big enough to nearly pull my arms off! I swear I was down to the backing more times than I had flyline on my reel that day, and in the end it was just hard work!
Catching half a dozen kingies on the fly one day, all between 6–10kg on my 10 weight, mostly by casting at pods of fish in clear sunny conditions.
12 - What are you reading at the moment and favourite music?
I read a variety of fishing magazines when I get the chance. Favourite music includes New Order, Pete Murray, Ed Kueper, Swervedriver, Ride, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Moby and Chillout sessions of various descriptions.
13 - It’s easy to criticise, moan or complain, but over the last few years what are three big positive outcomes or developments in our sport of angling?
I generally think there has been a change in attitude towards fishing. People seem to care more and have more respect for rules and regulations, and theyare more into catch and release. I think its cool that people don’t have to get their bag limit to have a good time and enjoy their fishing.
Better equipment and more fish friendly tackle – environets, circle hooks, fish grips and the like - they have become affordable and are readily available so that anglers can access them.
Getting the right message to anglers about caring for fish – for example turn on any fishing show on TV on a Saturday and they promote a good environmental fishing ethic and throw most of their fish back. That’s what I want my kids watching if they have to be inside!
14 - So you’re a fishing tragic and totally obsessed – how have you stayed in a relationship? What are your secrets, and what do you have to do to please the better half?
No secrets here. I have an amazing wife and I try and take the kids fishing as much as possible! We all love the outdoors and fishing is usually a part of our outdoor lifestyle, next to surfing and diving.Reads: 2130