Take 10 – Fisho Q&A

1 Name and birthplace?
Mark Williams. Born at Gosford on the NSW Central Coast.

2 When did you first start fishing?
I come from a family of keen recreational anglers so my late father and grandfather were taking me fishing the rivers & lakes of the NSW Central Coast from around three years of age.

3 When did you start writing for Fisho?
My first article was published in Fisho in the June 1996 edition.

4 What’s your favourite form of fishing?
I consider myself a fishing all-rounder and will try anything that involves wetting a line. However, if I had to narrow it down I must say that I really enjoy the challenges of lure and fly fishing. My favourite types of bait fishing would include chasing luderick and drummer off the rocks as well as larger pelagic game fish species on live and dead baits.

5 What do you enjoy about writing for a fishing magazine?
Writing for Fishing World has been a very important part of my life. Fishing has been my lifelong passion and the friendships made, opportunities given and doors that have been opened through my involvement with the magazine have been life changing. I’ve spent the majority of my working life as a mechanical fitter in the declining NSW power industry so writing for Fishing World has provided a positive creative outlet that helped me through some difficult periods.

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This monster 128cm saltwater barra was caught lure casting in the NT.

6 Who do you most admire in the fishing media and why?
Of all the people I have met through my involvement in the fishing media one individual really stands out – US fly fishing legend Bernard “Lefty” Kreh. He has risen from such humble beginnings to become the most influential fishing writer and respected media identity of his time. A wonderful person who has dedicated his life to helping others become better anglers and reinvented the way everyone fly fishes along the way. On the local front I’ve tremendous respect for Fisho Editor Jim Harnwell, Dean Butler, Rod Harrison, Flylife Editor Rob Sloane and the late Jack Erskine. All have made tremendous contributions to Australian fishing and gone out of their way to help me at every opportunity. I owe them all a debt of gratitude.

7 What do you reckon is the best or most satisfying article you’ve written for Fisho?
It was a real thrill to have my first article published back in 1996. It was a freshwater piece on chasing cod and bass and was typed out on an ancient computer in my foreman’s workshop office during my lunch breaks. Other memorable pieces include writing the first ever article on the amazing Peter Faust Dam barra fishery in the May 1999 edition when the Queensland impoundment boom was just taking off and also an article in the October 1999 edition extolling the advantages of targeting dusky flathead using soft plastics, which as bizarre as it may seem now was pretty out there at the time as back then all the articles being published were about trolling bibbed minnows for flatties. Funnily enough, within months of that piece being published the soft plastic boom exploded on the Australian scene and everything changed forever. These days I derive great personal satisfaction from the feedback I receive from anglers who have benefitted from our Knots & Rigs column.

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Mark sees himeslf as an “all-round” angler.

8 What camera gear do you use?
Camera Body: Nikon D300. Lens: 24 – 120mm general work, 105mm macro, 80 – 200mm zoom. Backup camera: Nikon Coolpix P7700.

9 What advice can you give anyone wanting to get into the fishing media?
Don’t be a sheep and follow the herd. Your best chance of having an article published is to write about the type of fishing that you have the most experience in. Don’t try and get your first article published by jumping on the current fad or craze. For example, when the Awoonga Dam barra fishery was going off a few years back every man and his dog was going there and trying to get articles published. As a first time writer your chances of getting an article published in those circumstances would be minimal so avoid jumping on the bandwagon. Do your own thing.

10 What’s your favourite fishing destination?
Worldwide, my favourite fishing destination would be the Florida Keys. It’s the spiritual home of saltwater fly fishing and if I won Lotto I could happily go back there and spend the rest of my days chasing tarpon, bonefish and permit on fly from a flats skiff. From a local perspective I really love the NSW North Coast. It’s a beautiful stretch of coastline with a great range of estuary, rock, Australian bass and inshore sport fishing options available.

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  Mark in Central America with an amazing fly-caught tarpon.

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