Fisho writer roll call & 40th tributes

Fisho has published literally hundreds of fishing writers over the years. Some were “oncers”, others were more regular and a select few made writing and photographing fish a sort of semi-career. A couple of notable characters even made writing for the mag full-time work.

There are way too many great Fisho writers for us to mention them all, so the following is a chronological selection of those who have produced memorable work starting from the early days right through to the present. Some names will be instantly recognisable, some may only be familiar to older fishos, others are yet to truly make their mark. All that taken into consideration, the following represents the cream of Australian fishing writing from the late 1960s right through to the beginnings of the 21st century.

Vic McCristal
Rod Harrison
George Bryden
David Scholes
Ted Clayton
Bernie Clarke
Steve Cooper
Wayne Hanstedt
John Turnbull
Ron Pearson
John Mondora
Geoff Wilson
Alex Julius
Martin Bowerman
Max Garth
Chiz Holm
G.B. Head
Blue Phillips
Gene Dundon
Malcolm Florence
Mark Frendin
Wayne Kampe
Mark Deeney
Lawrie & Julie McEnally
Terry Haack
Steve Farmer
Peter Leuver
David Green
John Newbery
Mike Roennfeldt

Peter Morse
Casey van den Oever
Phil Atkinson
Frank Prokop
Nick Babic
Dean Butler
Ken Hockey
Greg Finney
Lefty Kreh
Peter Pakula
Mark Goodger
Mark Robinson
Cameron Jones
Craig McGill
Rob Smith
Robert Vaughan
David Dumpleton
Patrick Brennan
Rob Sloane
Tim Simpson
Rick Huckstepp
Stephen Booth
Mark Ainsworth
Ben Diggles
Nigel Pennington
John Ashley
Ross Cusack
Dick Eussen
Simon Cassettari
Steve Starling

Ian Miller
Mark Hanlon
Mark Williams
Bobby Russo
Leeann Payne
Brad Job
Andrew McGovern
Neil Schultz
Bruce Libbis
Scott Mitchell
Robert Adamson
Shane Murton
Phil Petridis
Col Roberts
Dorian Mode
Mark Ward
Mark Fisher
Rob Barrett
Michael Guest
Sami Omari
Kris Sweres
Jamie Crawford
Mark Phillips
David Hodge
Dean Dawson
Sam Baillie
Anthony Davies
Kevin Savvas

40th Anniversary Tributes

Due to space limitations the following tributes were omitted from our August 2009 40th Anniversary Special Edition.

Rock Follies
by Bobby Russo

NAMES like Bob Bandicoot, Sam Speed, Bruce Buzzgear and Spot the Wonder Dog are monikers you’ll never see again in Fishing World. These names belonged to a group of intrepid LBG thrillseekers that Mark Hanlon introduced to the fishing public back in 1983.

The legendary Ron Calcutt was editor of Fisho in those days and his mind must have boggled in amazement when writer Hanlon put the first edition of “Rock Follies “in front of him. It was a funny piece which ran for a few months with some crazy and whacko pics of Bob Bandicoot putting Bandicoot hugs on hapless fishos and generally terrorising the rock platforms.

Adding to Bob’s mad antics was Sam Speed and Bruce Buzzgear fishing with their 9:1 “Mega Kranker” reels. There was also as a host of other “whacko” fishos with bizarre names that Mark Hanlon slotted in and who dared to fish the Tubes and take on the dreaded Bob Bandicoot and his pack of hyenas back in the 80s.

The response to these comedies was great and very positive and gave all readers a good laugh.

Bobby Russo is an LBG legend who bears a close resemblance to Bob Bandicoot.

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Inspired by Trutta
by Pat Brennan

The most outstanding memory I have of Fishing World, (aka The Australian Angler back in 1977) was a fictional piece by legendary writer David Scholes. I was never a very keen reader, unless it had something to do with fishing. On receipt of each new issue of The Angler, I would trawl through the pages first looking at the photographs, hoping that one day I might catch some of the great fish pictured through the articles and reading those that interested me. Gene and Gwen Dundon articles always caught my attention with tales and pictures of huge mulloway (jewfish).

However, in one issue was the Scholes story called “Trutta The Trout”. This superbly written piece detailed the life of Trutta from a small fry to his ultimate demise at the hands of a fisherman and featured over several issues. I was so moved and captivated by this piece that the next month couldn’t come around quick enough for me to read the next instalment. In fact, the story was so inspiring for me that just writing this short memoir inspired me to find the story of Trutta the Trout in book form and buy it!

Pat Brennan is one of Fisho’s leading writers, producing our The Fishing School and Shimano Juniors columns each month.

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Eclectic mix
by Sami Omari

I joined the ranks of Fisho writers about five years ago now so as a relative newcomer to the mag, my view of the past four decades is tilted towards the more recent years. Winding back the clock to my first submission saw a barrage of emails sent back and forth to editor Jim Harnwell before finally speaking with the man to talk through a few ideas and thoughts. A visit to the post office with my first submission containing a parcel of prized slides and a printed manuscript finally sealed the deal.

Looking back retrospectively shows that initial experience to encompass what Fisho is really all about – welcoming new ideas, welcoming new writers and moving forward with the times to embrace change. I wasn’t around when Calcutt was sitting in his kitchen floor putting the mag together, back in those days I was a young tacker buying too many magazines and trying new techniques that were destined to fail but inspired a spirit of adventure – as a kid one of my first Fisho mags in the mid 80s prompted me to buy some lures and throw them around in Sydney Harbour, hoping for a barra.

Today Fishing World features an eclectic mix of writers reporting on the latest tackle and techniques, inspiring fishermen and fisherwomen of all ages. It’s fitting that we celebrate this occasion with Fisho on top of the audits in print and leading the digital charge with an exciting new website online – happy 40th.

Sydney-based Sami Omari writes regularly for Fisho.

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Monumental discovery
by Mick Fletoridis

My first exposure to Fisho was in the mid 1970s. For a young fishing obsessive just past comics, it was a monumental discovery. Finding out my school library stocked the mag highlighted a true benefit of public education. Fishing buddy, Frank Junakovic, and I often pored over the mag talking up the fights of exotic fish we’d never seen, techniques never tried or destinations only dreamt about. We learned about bass, barramundi, mack tuna, mangrove jacks, kings and more from those back issue pages. Catching trout and natives in Canberra was a lot more exciting after reading about it in Fisho.

There have been so many memorable Fisho stories but a few spring to mind. An “I Remember The Day” piece by John Ashley about livebaiting at Pretty Beach on the NSW South Coast led to many a fishing daydream, as did a piece 10 years later by Mark Hanlon, “Just One Of Those Days”, which centred on the NSW Central Coast ledges my fishing mates and I fished around the time. July 1982’s “Murrumbidgee Dreamtime” by Steve Starling and photographed by Harro ignited my native fish passion. To make it perfect it also featured Canberran native fishing icon Gordon Winter.
Ross Cusack’s Wild West columns featuring the antics of his fishing mate Stick Legs and a shared obsession with cracking jumbo sized WA tailor were memorable.

The mag has been blessed with quality writers over the years – too many to mention – and personally Harro and Greeny’s words have always struck a special chord. Harro’s exposure of big bad PNG bass and Greeny’s Wreck and Cato reef tales, or humorous accounts of Jindabyne trout fishing were something special. To later work and even fish with these blokes was surreal.

Since being lucky enough to get a job on Fisho, I’ve seen our long-serving editor Jim Harnwell strive to uphold its consistent high standard. These days there mightn’t be as many groundbreaking techniques exposed or frontiers to discover, but rest assured when there are, Fisho will be the first to let you know.

Mick Fletoridis joined Fisho as assistant editor in 2002. He now edits the boating section and is online editor for 

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