Growing up in Northern Tasmania, I discovered my love for fishing at a young age while joining my father on our local jetty at Blackwall on the Tamar River. This very spot held special significance as it was where my father had spent his childhood fishing as well. At just four years old, I caught my first fish, a Tamar River cod, using frozen whitebait as bait on a simple paternoster rig with an improvised sinker made from an old spark plug. Our fishing trips were often fruitful, yielding catches of cod, yellow-eyed mullet, and cocky salmon.
One memorable fishing experience occurred when I was 11 years old. Accompanied by my father and two uncles, we embarked on a fishing trip to Arthurs Lake in the Central Highlands of Tasmania. We stayed in an old shack near he Morass Bay and, on an early Saturday morning, I joined my father at the water's edge. It marked my first foray into lure fishing and trout fishing simultaneously. Armed with a Tillans no:14D Ashley Spinner in green and gold with red spots, I cast my lure out. On the second cast, a fish aggressively swirled behind the lure but missed. Undeterred, I cast again, and this time, the fish struck with force. I vividly recall my father cheering me on as reeled in the trout, practically "skiing" it across the water's surface and onto the bank. It was a brown trout weighing 3 pounds—the fish that ignited my passion for lure fishing.
Inspired by my uncle's passion for fly fishing, I gradually developed an interest in the discipline. I observed his techniques during countless fishing trips, and he eventually taught me how to cast and introduced me to the fundamentals of fly fishing. I dedicated numerous hours to honing my skills in our backyard until, at around 13 years old, I purchased my first fly rod. I still remember my first fly-caught trout—a brightly colored half-pound brown trout from a small creek. Using a gold bead-headed hares ear nymph suspended under a fluoro orange strike indicator, I cast into a slow-flowing pool from a timber bridge. Soon after that milestone, I began tying my own flies, spending countless hours behind my fly tying vice, creating new patterns and replenishing my fly boxes.
Throughout my teenage years, fishing became my primary focus, occupying every spare moment either alone or with friends. Whether it was exploring Tasmania's abundant lakes, rivers, creeks, and lagoons for trout or frequenting the various jetties and pontoons along the Tamar River, fishing consumed my thoughts and actions.
Around the age of 20, I delved into targeting bream using soft plastics and hard body lures, which quickly developed into an obsession. In many ways, I found similarities between lure fishing for bream and fly fishing. Both emphasized presentation, replicating the movement and appearance of natural food sources to entice the fish. By meticulously matching the size, color, and action of my lure to the fish's preferred prey, I achieved success in catching bream.
During this time, I met Steve Steer through a mutual friend, Nigel Harris, who introduced me to him. Steve worked at a local tackle store, and we soon connected. Encouraged by Steve, I ventured into the realm of fishing tournaments in Tasmania. My inaugural tournament was the Tasmanian Bream Classic event held on the Scamander River, where I partnered with my good friend Nick Martin. It proved to be a memorable experience as we emerged victorious, igniting my passion for competitive fishing. From that point on, Steve and I teamed up, participating in the Tasmanian Bream Classic Series. Together, we achieved notable success, securing
five Tasmanian Bream Classic Series Championships, a Tasmanian Trout Classic Championship win, and multiple top-three finishes in both bream and trout events. The competitive aspect of these tournaments fuels my natural inclination for competition, allowing me to test my skills against like-minded individuals in a sport I am truly passionate about.
At the age of 24, I met my wonderful partner, Celestine, who had a two-year-old son named Preston. Since then, we have built a beautiful family together. It has been a joy to introduce Preston to fishing, and to my delight, he shares the same love for it. We have created unforgettable memories on our fishing trips, and these days, he often outperforms me whenever we fish together.
In May 2016, our family was blessed with the arrival of another child, another son Riley William Cox. He became Preston's little brother and another cherished fishing companion for me. Then, in February 2018, our family experienced another incredible blessing with the birth of our third son, Ashton Andrew Cox. With our growing family, I sometimes find myself thinking that I might need a larger boat to accommodate our fishing adventures.
Fishing has not only shaped my childhood and teenage years but also continues to be an integral part of my life. It has brought me closer to nature, instilled in me a sense of competition, and provided cherished moments with my family. As I look ahead, I eagerly anticipate the future fishing escapades and the memories that await us on the beautiful waters of Tasmania.
BEST TOURNAMENT RESULTS TO DATE
- Tasmanian Bream Classic Series ‘Team Of The Year – 2015 – 1st place.
- Tasmanian Beam Classic event, St Helens – 2015 – 2nd place.
- Tasmanian Bream Classic Series ‘Team Of The Year -2014 – 1st place.
- Tasmanian Bream Classic event, Swan River – 2014 -2nd place.
- Tasmanian Bream Classic event, St Helens – 2014 – 2nd place.
- Tasmanian Bream Classic Series ‘Team Of The Year – 2013 – 1st place.
- Tasmanian Bream Classic event, Swan River – 2013 – 2nd place.
- Tasmanian Bream Classic event, St Helens – 2013 – 3rd place.
- Tasmanian Bream Classic event, Derwent River – 2012 – 1st place.
- Tasmanian Bream Classic Series ‘Team Of The Year’ – 2012 – 1st place.
- Tasmanian Bream Classic event, Derwent River - 2011 – 2nd place.
- Tasmanian Trout Series 'TEAM of the Year' – 2011 – 3rd place.
- Spirit of Tasmania Bream Classic Series, Team Of The Year – 2010 – 1st place.
- Spirit of Tasmania Trout Classic event, Round 1 Arthur's Lake – 2010 – 1st place.
- Spirit of Tasmania 2010 Trout Classic event, Round 2 Great Lake – 2010 – 1st place.
- Spirit Of Tasmania Trout Classic Series 'Team Of The Year' – 2010 -1st place.
- Spirit of Tasmania Trout Classic event, Arthurs Lake - 2009 -2nd place.
- Spirit Of Tasmania Trout Classic Series ‘Team of the Year’ – 2009 -2nd place.
- Tasmanian Bream Classic event, Scamander River – 2008 – 1st place.
- Tasmanian Trout Classic event, Arthurs Lake – 2008 -1st place.
- Tasmanian Trout Classic event, Great Lake -2008 – 2nd place.
- Tasmanian Trout Classic Series ‘Team Of The Year’ – 2008 – 1st place.