G’day, and welcome to my first ever fishing column.

I am the youngest son of the large, Gladstone local McGuire family.  My old man was the Principal of the Gladstone State High School for decades.  Some of you may remember “BJ”, especially if you played up and had to present for the cuts.  As a kid I lived on top of Auckland Hill so I used to go fishing at the nearby wharf every chance I got, in between my regular trips to the nearby Gladstone Harbour islands with my old man.  These fishing escapes turned into an addiction.

For a while my father was the Principal at Thursday Island; where the natural ways of living were passed down through the family.  So boating and camping on islands, line fishing, spearfishing and crabbing became our school holiday family fun.

I previously owned my own fishing charter business; but as my 4 kids grew older and showed more interest in fishing, I decided to sell my charter boat to go fishing with my kids instead of clients and return to work as an electrician.  I’ve got 2 adult daughters that can hold their own in a fishing boat and now I’m mentoring my 15-year-old twin sons.  They are starting to out line-fish and spearfish me already.  I am pretty stoked that they have all learnt to share my passion for the outdoors and fishing.  But I cannot claim all the dues; as my wife Jennifer loves family fishing too, and for the past 6-years she’s been President of the Boyne Tannum HookUp while our daughters have helped with the fish weigh ins and social media.  The kids and I have always participated in the HookUp.  I was at the first one in Bray Park.  Our fishing charter business were a previous HookUp sponsor.  So even though we’ve got a long-standing connection with the family fishing event, Jennifer has resigned as HookUp President to focus on spending more time enjoying life with our growing family.

Last year during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown my girls and I identified an opportunity to set up an online fishing competition.  During this time, my daughters’ jobs were negatively impacted by the lockdown, but on the other hand we could still ride bicycles outdoors and go fishing.  As a result we set up ALLSTARS INSALT to encourage people in Queensland to go fishing whenever they want and weigh in their fish across 18 categories to win $96,000 cash prizes.  Seeing it’s a website-based competition, entrants can weigh in 24 hours a day to be in the running.

The online comp has only been operating 5 months and during May the anglers from the Gladstone Region have dominated; with half of the 18 fish categories being won by them and each of them pocketing $300.  One of the most successful anglers is Wayne Baldry, a farmer from Bundaberg who every chance he gets slips out fishing from Burnett Heads or the nearby Town of 1770.  So, if you’re fishing with Wayne it’s his shout for the tackle, bait, ice and fuel! 

ALLSTARS has months of competition still to occur and stories to share.  I have decades of fishing tips and will interview many successful commercial and recreational anglers to share their suggestions too.  In time for the variable winds of winter I’m going to talk about mackerel fishing next time.

As much as I like to write about fishing, I’d also like to hear from you.  So please email me at info@allstarsinsalt.com.au to share your fishing trips, fishing tips, fishing stories and photos.

A day on the water is better than a day at work.

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