I was first introduced to fishing by my father whilst fishing from our local jetty at Blackwall on the Tamar River in Northern Tasmania… the very same spot that he spent his childhood days fishing also! My first fish was a dirty old Tamar River cod, caught at the age of 4. We normally fished using frozen whitebait for bait on a simple paternoster rig using an old spark plug for a sinker! Our trips were always quite successful usually catching plenty of cod, yellow eyed mullet and cocky salmon.
At the age of 11, I remember going on a fishing trip with my Dad and my 2 uncles to Arthurs Lake in the Central Highlands of Tasmania, where we stayed in an old shack in the back of the Morass Bay. I remember heading down to the water with my Dad early on the Saturday morning. It was my first time fishing with lures, as it was my first time trout fishing! I was fishing with a Tillans no:14D Ashley Spinner (green and gold with 3 red spots down either side) and I remember on my 2nd cast a fish swirled very aggressively behind my lure but missed it… 3rd cast I threw back into the same area and BANG!!! I still recall vividly my Dad running back down the shore towards me yelling out to "go easy" as I literally skied this fish across the surface and slid it straight up the bank... I gave it everything I had! Haha! This was the 1st trout that I ever caught. It was a brown trout and it weighed 3lb... it was this exact fish that started my lure fishing addiction!
My uncle was always a keen fly fisherman and after my addiction to lure fishing started I then began to take more of an interest in fly fishing after watching him on many fishing trips. My uncle taught me how to cast and showed me the basics of fly fishing. Many hours were spent mastering the art in our backyard and at around the age of 13, I purchased my first fly rod. I can still remember the first trout that I caught on fly as if it was only yesterday! It was a small brightly coloured brown trout of around half a pound and was caught out of a tiny creek. It was taken on a gold bead headed hares ear nymph suspended underneath a fluoro orange strike indicator whilst casting into a slow flowing pool from a small timber bridge. Shortly thereafter I then began to tie my own flies. I would literally spend hours and hours a week sitting behind my fly tying vice making all sorts of creations. We may have lost the family dinner table during this time… my abundance of gear took up quite some space! What can I say? Priorities!! To this day I still enjoy sitting behind my vice restocking fly boxes, recreating existing patterns and creating new patterns.
Throughout my teenage years every spare moment I had was spent fishing somewhere, alone or with friends. I would always be either trout fishing in the many lakes, rivers, creeks and lagoons that abound Tasmania or I would be haunting the many jetties and pontoons that are scattered along the Tamar River.
At around the age of 20 I started to target bream on soft plastics and hard body lures… this became quite an obsession for me! In a lot of aspects I believe that lure fishing for bream is not that dissimilar to fly fishing… it is all about the presentation... making your lure move like the real food scource and most importantly matching your selected presentation in terms of size, colour and action as closely as possible to the natural food source that the fish are feeding upon. If you can tick all of these boxes you will usually catch bream!
Not long after this I met Steve Steer, who I was introduced to through a mutual friend and good mate Nigel Harris. At the time Steve was working in a local tackle store. Soon after meeting Steve, I started to fish the local tournaments here in Tasmania. My first tournament was a Tasmanian Bream Classic event which was held on the Scamander River. I teamed up with good mate Nick Martin. We had a cracking time and we managed to walk away with the win on my first ever bream tournament! I was hooked. A couple of years later I teamed up with Steve and we fished the Tasmanian Bream Classic Series together. Since we started tournament fishing together, we have had some great results including: 5 x Tasmanian Bream Classic Series Championships, a Tasmanian Trout Classic Championship win and multiple top 3 finishes in both bream and trout events. I love the competitive aspect of these tournaments! I have always been a naturally competitive person, so the chance to compete and put my skills to the test against other like-minded people in a sport that I am passionate about is really what it is all about for me.
At the age of 24, I met my lovely partner Celestine and her 2 year old son Preston. We are still together to this day and it has been a pleasure to introduce Preston to fishing also... and the best part? He loves it too! We have had some great trips together and these days he usually out fishes me whenever we go fishing!
In May 2016 we were all blessed with the birth of another child... another Son! Riley William Cox. A little brother for Preston and another future fishing buddy for me! Then again in February 2018 our family was once again blessed with the birth of another child... another little boy, Ashton Andrew Cox... I am starting to think that I may need a bigger boat!
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.