Take 10 – Fisho Q&A

1 Name and birthplace?
Kevin Savvas – Born in Sydney, NSW

2 When did you first start fishing?
Too early to remember although my father says I was born with a rod in my hand. He recalls my first fishing trip when we set off as a family and slept in the car park at The Entrance on the Central Coast of NSW and fished all weekend … I was two weeks old! My earliest memory though is dangling my legs over the side of Kirribilli Wharf in Sydney next to my father, grandfather and seven uncles fishing for yellowtail with handlines. I still have that original handline consisting of some mono wrapped around a piece of cork.

3 When did you start writing for Fisho?
I first penned an article titled Luring with Bait in 2006. Since that time I have had 41 feature articles published.

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Kev has perfected soft plastics fishing for a variety of fish species including bream. 

4 What’s your favourite form of fishing?
It’s a tough call but using soft plastics to chase jewies has to be my absolute pinnacle. While I enjoy all forms of lure fishing there is something addictive in targeting and catching NSW’s premier but highly elusive estuary sportsfish. A very close second is chasing EPs on plastics, whiting on poppers, bream on poppers and live baiting for jewies.

5 What do you enjoy about writing for a fishing magazine?
For me it’s about the challenge. In a lot of instances I hatch an idea, run it past Jim, and if approved I need to devise how I go about producing consistent and repeatable results. Then, the second challenge is articulating an intricate technique in words. It’s not always easy as the tendency is to write as much as you can but sometimes what you decide to leave out is just as important as the information you include. It’s imperative to note fish mysteriously disappear when the camera appears and coupled with working to tight publishing deadlines turns the excitement and anxiety levels up a notch. Ultimately though, having readers contact you via email, Facebook or Twitter and recount how the technique you’ve written about has ended in someone catching a fish is the real affirmation. I hope in my time as a Fisho writer I’ve inspired readers to pick up a rod and try soft plastics.

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A barra caught on an annual trip to the Top End.

6 Who do you most admire in the fishing media and why?
Definitely Steve Starling! He is the sole reason why I began to write fishing articles. I admire his wordcraft and ability to engage a reader. If you read Steve’s work it’s hard not to get the urge to pick up a rod immediately and go wet a line. His ability to describe techniques and paint a picture in the mind’s eye of how to put it into practice, means anyone who reads his work can fast track their skills easily. That’s real talent!
He and Bushy were also the catalysts for me commencing my soft plastics obsession. I can’t remember the amount of times I’ve watched the original Squidgies DVD of the boys catching flathead at Mallacoota. My original copy wore out! Other notable mentions include David “Greeny” Green for his longevity and relevance, Jim Harnwell for his fight against our detractors (and giving me a chance to showcase my work when no other editor would return my calls) and Kaj Busch for his infectious passion and constant innovation.

7 What do you reckon is the best or most satisfying article you’ve written for Fisho?
For me, I think there is a distinct difference between the best and most satisfying. The most satisfying piece was definitely my first article. To see my work in print, in a magazine I had spent the better part of a decade purchasing was a real achievement. It was an honour to say I featured in a magazine that has the heritage Fisho does. On reflection it wasn’t my finest hour but it gave me the confidence to pursue bigger and better challenges and allowed me to break into the fishing media landscape. The best piece I have written, in my opinion, is my latest work on Shallow Water Jewies. I believe that my work has progressively improved with experience and time so my expectations are my next piece will be better than my last.

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Lizard king – a solid dusky flathead caught around Sydney.

8 What camera gear do you use?
I use a Canon 1DSmk3 with 2 L-Series lenses: 17mm-40mm & 28mm-105mm. It’s probably more camera than you need for this type of work but to mask my inability as a photographer I felt if I bought the best camera I could afford I might fluke a few good pics in the process.

9 What advice can you give anyone wanting to get into the fishing media?
Be determined. I got rejected by many editors when I first started out. I wasn’t prepared to take no for an answer and knew I had something different to offer compared to what I was reading at the time. The real emphasis though is to couple good editorial with clear and descriptive pictures. Readers invest a great deal in the supporting photography as they often communicate as much detail as the article itself. Also, dare to be different … don’t be a clone. Fishing writers become tired very quickly so be prepared to continually reinvent yourself, your ideas and your fishing disciplines if you wish to stay relevant and have a long career … just look at Greeny for inspiration.

10 What’s your favourite fishing destination?
Definitely the Hawkesbury! I was born and bred on that river and would be happy to fish it exclusively for the rest of my days. Notable mentions include Dundee Beach NT, South Alligator River NT, Jumpinpin SE QLD, St Georges Basin NSW and Lake Macquarie NSW.

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Kev and another jew from his favourite location, the Hawkesbury.

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