Take 10 – Fisho Q&A

ANOTHER instalment in our ongoing Q&A with the writers of Fishing World

1 Name and birthplace?

Jamie Crawford. Born in Adelaide, South Australia.

2 When did you first start fishing?

I was dragged along fishing with my dad from a young age and I recall starting to ‘join in’ at around four years old. My first fish was a (very small) bream from the Onkaparinga River in SA.

3 When did you start writing for Fisho?

First article with Fisho was in December 2005 (Big Fish Down South). I was stoked – bought about five copies of the mag!

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Born and bred in South Australia, Jamie loves heading north to target barra.

4 What’s your favourite form of fishing?

It’s hard to narrow it down to just one form. I really enjoy surf fishing, targeting reds in shallow water, flathead on plastics, livebaiting for kingfish and casting for barra up north. I like variety in fishing, it helps to keep things fresh. Instead of being a master at one style of fishing, I’d prefer to be competent at many.

5 What do you enjoy about writing for a fishing magazine?

It’s very satisfying seeing images that you’ve taken being printed in a magazine and also hoping the story offers advice to readers. The greatest satisfaction is receiving feedback from readers that the info provided helped or encouraged them in that style of fishing. It’s especially satisfying when the feedback is from a young fisho – that’s very cool. I remember a few years back a young reader sent in a pic to the editor of a small shark (a small gummy, from memory) and said he had put into practice what he had read in a story of mine (beach fishing for sharks). That confirmed why I was writing for a magazine. The other highlight is the people you meet along the way, from skippers, guides, fellow writers and other keen recreational fishos. I have formed some great friendships through writing.

6 Who do you most admire in the fishing media and why?

Shane Mensforth. Being a fellow South Aussie, I grew up reading Shane’s articles in our state mag SA Angler. He’s an accomplished angler, has caught stacks of great fish here in SA and still has the zeal. He helped pioneer and showcase a lot of SA’s fishing over the years. David Green. Such a versatile and accomplished fisho. One minute he’s writing about finesse techniques for flathead, then midnight fishing for cod, small boat fishing for blue marlin, and then spanner crabs. There isn’t much he hasn’t written about over the years. Jack Erskine for tackle pioneering and early fishing media – and for being a gentleman. I only ever fished with him once, he was a great guy. Finally is Fisho editor Jim Harnwell for standing firm in what he believes and remaining humble. The first time I met Jim he said “as fishing writers, we’re just dudes who like fishing… we’re not better than anyone else”. That has stuck with me.

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Jamie likes variety in fishing, to help keep things fresh. Instead of being a master at one style of fishing, he’d prefer to be competent at many.

7 What do you reckon is the best or most satisfying article you’ve written for Fisho?

It was on footy star Peter ‘Spida’ Everitt, shortly after he retired from AFL. It was in 2008, I think, and Jim asked if I could host Spida for a day of fishing as he was travelling through SA. Everything just fell into place for the day. We had light winds, a calm sea and we boated some lovely snapper to 12kg. Spida landed his first big snapper and I had my first cover shot on Fisho as a result. Other stories have included a Ningaloo Flats story I did at Exmouth several years ago. It’s easy to get good images at a place like Ningaloo and the story included species I hadn’t previously caught. I also really enjoyed some of the early stories I did on Arno Bay. I was living in Arno at the time – the fishing was awesome and not many people had heard about the place back then.

8 What camera gear do you use?

I use a Nikon D200 with a 17-80 lens. I use a GoPro Hero 2 with a dive housing for basic underwater shots.

9 What advice can you give anyone wanting to get into the fishing media?

Don’t hold back if you’re serious about giving it a go. I recommend buying a reasonable camera, take the time to learn how to drive it and get out there. This will mean putting your rod down in a hot bite to take pics of fish fresh from the water and to capture the moment. Some basic tips I learnt early on were to use a speedlight or fill-flash for most people/fish shots, get in nice and close, take note of clutter in the background, and always take an extra pic or two (it only takes a bit of overexposing, a kicking fish or a funny face to render a pic useless). Remember to be patient with other people on the boat – their first priority usually isn’t to get fishing photos; they’re on the water to go fishing. Research the topic or location you’re writing about to get maximum info for the feature and don’t forget about the guys who help along the way (friends, guides, skippers, hosts, etc). Even though one person writes the story, others have contributed in some shape or form along the way.

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Jamie’s tip for those interested in getting involved in the fishing media: “use a speedlight or fill-flash for most people/fish photos.”

10 What’s your favourite fishing destination?

Coffin Bay, Port Lincoln, Arno Bay, Head of the Bight, Melville Island, Exmouth, New Zealand.

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