26-year-old Ben Godfrey won three major tournaments in his first year of competitive fishing.
26-year-old Ben Godfrey won three major tournaments in his first year of competitive fishing. Blainey Woodham

Fishing keeps luring Ben back

WETTING a line is more than a pastime for Elanora resident Ben Godfrey who won three major fishing tournaments in his first year of competition.

After fishing for most of his life, the 26-year-old said he began competing for the first time in 2007.

“The second tournament I entered I won it and got $10,000, so I had a good start,” Mr Godfrey said.

“I saw the Australian Fishing Championship (AFC) on TV and thought ‘That looks fun’ so I decided I wanted to start fishing competitively.”

In 2007 he entered the Gold Coast Super Series, the Ford Ranger grand final at Lake Macquarie and the Australian Open on Sydney Harbour.

He won all three competitions and more than $40,000 in prize money.

Mr Godfrey said the highlight of his short tournament career has been the Ford Ranger grand final at Lake Macquarie.

“I was up against the top 55 anglers in Australia and I won it,” he said.

“It has taken a lot of hard work and persistence with a lot of hours on the water.”

The tournament angler said his favourite species to catch was bream on lures in the estuaries or when he was offshore snapper, also on lures. “The only time I use live bait is when I’m fishing for mackerel offshore,” Mr Godfrey said.

He said he loved trying new techniques with lures and usually did not fish to eat.

“It is more of a sport for me and I release most of the fish I catch . . . I might keep one for the pan.”

Mr Godfrey said he had worked at the Currumbin Boatshed Bait and Tackle while growing up and still worked there part time when owner Brad Smith needed a hand.

He said Mr Smith showed him how to use lures when he was a grommet around the boatshed.

“It is an iconic place for kids to go and they always give you advice; now I talk to the grommets while I’m there.”

He said the best advice he could give anyone interested in fishing was spend time practising and trying new techniques.

“You can never learn enough, and you need to soak up knowledge on and off the water,” he said.

“If you’re not confident with the technique you won’t catch the fish.”

Mr Godfrey said he competed in the AFC on the Tweed River three weeks ago and it will air on Channel 10 on December 20.

He was tight-lipped about any results, but said to stay tuned.

Mr Godfrey’s next move will be the Australian Open tournament in Sydney Harbour early next year.



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