The Padawan is a simple, ordinary, average man. I have been with my wife since we were teenagers. We have three wonderful grown daughters who are just brilliant kids.
I was born and raised in the Lower Hunter region. As a child I went fishing on Lake Macquarie with my family most weekends in Put-Put’s hired from Toronto and Nords Wharf. Those were the days when catches were outstanding. A packet of prawns and handlines were all the gear required. Yet bream, flathead , tailor and the occasional decent sized snapper abounded.
As I grew through adolescence I was very lucky that my brother moved to Stockton near Newcastle. Every weekend and nearly every school holidays were spent there. Out on my bicycle with my brother’s dog King, at the river, on the breakwall and down the beach. Absolutely brilliant. Where I made my first rod, bought my first Alvey reel and haunted the harbour around the vehicle ferries and trawlers. It was rare not to get a good feed of fresh fish to take back home. Those were the days especially down the beach when we chased that elusive jewfish (mulloway). Yes the big one over 50 lb in those days. Many nights were spent on the beach with little result. Those were also the nights when as morning broke and no jewie to brag about, we could at least catch a quick few fresh tailor for the best brekkie ever. Freshly caught and in the frypan before they had a chance to stop moving.
Of course there were also the trips away to Urunga, South West Rocks and Seal Rocks. So called family holidays when I would basically disown my parents and fish till I fell asleep. Nirvana.
Many years later when I began my own family I had a stint in Sydney for about 10 years in the eastern suburbs. Some of the best rock fishing ever. Yes the passion never subsided, much to my wifes disgust. We eventually moved back to the Maitland area and my love affair with the rod and reel continued.
Thus began another chapter. Days chasing blackfish in the Hunter River, down at Swansea, Karuah and the ocassional trip away with mates during the winter to Harrington and Port Macquarie. Yes when we returned with too many blackfish fillets, my wife and kids and other family members getting very sick of fillet after blackfish fillet. Pleading for us to catch something different.
Of course just to please my family I had to target other species. Many trips to the beach in my dual cab on Stockton beach, One Mile Beach, Hawks Nest Beach chasing tailor, bream, whiting and anything else which was unlucky enough to swallow our hooks. My daughters and wife have never understood the passion,but loved the results. Later as I looked into my 4th and 5th decades of life, the boat took on a new dimension , more fishing, more locations and more stories.
Throughout the next years, fishing became my escape for a very arduous life. With my best mates, the last few years have been a whole heap of new adventures based of course around fishing. Trips to Tasmania learning from a soft plastic guru named Michael Haley. Chasing that 2 kg Black Bream which still eludes us. The yearly trips to Iluka and the Clarence River, where the locals always tell us the fishing is poor that year. Yet they always come and ask us, when we come in to the cleaning tables, where we caught our great catches. Our reply of course, “up the river”. Trips to Forster/Tuncurry where guess what the locals say the same things. The fishing has been the worst ever, yet funnily enough we manage to catch more than enough for our esky.
For 40 years I had dedicated my life through my work to serving my community. That profession I believe gave me a very thorough view of life. The good, the bad and yes unfortunately the very ugly side. I believe the knowledge and wisdom I learnt, gives me the credentials to comment on many things. Hey as stated on our home page. You may not agree with me, but by god I will defend your right to express that opinion. I have recently retired and now look forward to even more fishing adventures.
Why the name The Padawan. Easy really ever since I can remember my one true joy has been fishing. My family has all my love. I want to learn as much as I can about all aspects of the sport or passion whichever. I am always researching and studying fishing. I always stop at the local tackle and search for new info and ideas. As always talking to the locals is a must, especially the weather beaten ones with rod in hand. I believe we can always learn more and then catch that fish of a lifetime. Yes the metre plus flathead, the 55cm 2 kilo bream, the elbow slapper monster whiting. I know they are there waiting for me. So fishing I go. The challenge, the excitement and expectation remain as strong now as when I was a child.
Throughout my life ,fishing as been the one constant. It has given me great joy, great mates and taken me to the most beautiful places you could imagine. The journey continues I hope for many decades to come.