A Few Beers with Kevin Gleed
  |  First Published: March 2008

1. Name, age and where’s home?

Kevin Gleed, 48 yrs old. For four months of the year I live at Congo (A small beach front town 7km from Moruya) and the other eight months I live at Mallacoota.

2. Your first fishing memory or first fish?

I grew up in Cronulla and as a kid I used to go fishing for leatherjackets. I have great memories fishing off the wharfs and jetties using prawns for bait.

3.Your favourite style of fishing?

Fishing the estuaries for bream and estuary perch. This style of fishing is challenging as the techniques and lures change throughout the year. This gives me something different to look forward to as the fishing season progresses.

4. How many days a year do you fish?

As I have my own charter boat business I spend a lot of time on the water. I fish long days; up to 14 hours a day during peak Christmas period. A normal standard day would be about nine hours and I spend in excess of 250 days a year on the water.

5. Where did the nickname ‘Captain Kev’ come from?

In 1992 I started my business, Wilderness Fishing Tours, and Kaj ‘Bushy’ Busch came out on a trial run at Mallacoota. He later wrote an article entitled ‘Estuary Action with Captain Kev’ and the nickname has stuck ever since.

6. Do you get a chance to ‘fish-for-fun’ or is it all business?

I have put in countless hours fishing the estuaries between Marlo and Bateman’s Bay prior to starting my business. Nowadays, I look forward to certain places at certain times and I make sure I get out there and fish them. Fishing when I am not working is when I get to try out different techniques and lures.

7. You have been one of the innovators of lure fishing in Australia for the past 30 years, where do you think lure fishing has come from and where do you think it’s going in the future?

I think the popularity of fishing with lures comes in waves. All my early fishing was done with hardbodied lures but then along came soft plastics and that was suddenly all the craze. However, recently many anglers have seen how effective hardbody lures can be, so they have once again taken off. That is, of course, until the next new craze comes along.

I believe fish wise-up pretty quickly and you need to be looking for the next new lure to stay a breast from the field. More and more new gear has become available in recent years and I don’t see that changing.

8. You have been involved in a lot of TV and DVD production for fishing, how has it been for the ‘boy-in-the-bush’ to be in front of the camera?

I have now been involved in the making of two fishing DVDs, four episodes of Fishing Australia, one segment of the Great Outdoors and one segment in Discover Downunder. Basically, I try to forget the camera is on and just go fishing.

9. The south coast has been hit with a lot of Marine Park re-zoning, how does this affect your business and livelihood?

It hasn’t really affected my business as yet, but I believe more anglers are being forced into smaller areas of available fishing water, so the fishing will only get tougher.

10. What do you do when you’re not fishing?

Surfing is a great sport and something I was passionate about for over 20 years. I still love getting out there on my board, but nowadays I just concentrate on not falling off and hanging onto the wave as long as possible! But it is still great fun.

11. What is your favourite fishing memory or moment?

There are too many to recall!

The most recent memorable event happened when I was netting a 96cm flathead for a client. What made this so special was that the large flathead had just eaten a 42cm flathead and as it was being wound in it managed to spew up the smaller fish, but it was too late as it was already in the net.

12. What is your favourite fishing destination/s?

I love fishing at Guru, just south of Townsville, it is great for lure fishing and has big mangrove jacks and barra. Also the Wilderness Coast in Victoria has great perch and big bream.

13. You held the record for the biggest five fish bream bag in the ABT tournament series for a few years, do you still fish in the tournaments?

Working as a guide I am often booked out months in advance, but whenever possible I try and enter the odd tournament. It is great to catch up with the guys and see what has been happening on the fishing circuit.

My best result was second place in the Grand Final – close but not close enough. As for my record bag, most records are made to be broken! However, it was good to have held it for a while.

14. What does the future hold for Captain Kev?

I have over 100 days booked for this year already so the next 12 months are going to be big in the work department.

I also have a DVD in the pipeline and two episodes of Fishing Australia to be filmed. One of the episodes will feature Flea, the bass guitarist from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, which I’m really looking forward to.

15. In regard to your fishing career, which three people have influenced you the most?

I always admired Vic McCristal as a fisherman and writer. He was miles ahead in his thinking and his writing was inspirational.

Next I would name Kaj ‘Bushy’ Busch for his love of all things fishing. He is a talented angler in many different styles of fishing.

Lastly, would be my mate Glyn Luly. We spent countless hours experimenting with different fishing lures and techniques, quite often with very limiting results. There was hardly anything written in fishing magazines in the 1980s that was informative for lure fishers, so Glyn and I figured it out together.

16. Is there anyone you would like to thank that has helped you get where you are today?

I would like to thank Bruce Lamotte for building me an excellent boat to use for guiding and to all my sponsors that have given me great support: Jason Hennah and the crew at Rapala Freetime, Paul Bakker from Lowrance, Mark Mate from Bassmaster, Sue Humphries from Allso Eyeware, and Rob Paxevanous from the Fishing Australia Show.

My own passion for fishing has paved the way to where I am today and proves that you can make fishing your career.

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