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Making Waves: Tiffany Newton

Making Waves is a series dedicated to sharing the stories of trailblazers, adventurers, innovators, pioneers and people who are doing good things in boating, fishing and recreational water sports.

Today, we’re talking with Women in Recreational Fishing Leader and up-and-coming competition angler Tiffany Newton about big fish and where she loves to go boating.

How did you get into fishing?

When I was young I went on many family camping trips and dad used to love surf fishing. I remember waiting patiently for a bite and him letting me reel in his catch and take all the glory! I was hooked and shadowed him with a fishing rod wherever he went. When I met my partner Matthew in 2009, he introduced me to freshwater fishing and it’s taken my interest to a whole new level.

How many fishing competitions have you competed in?

I’m sponsored by Pure Fishing and I have competed in various Didyabringyarodalong Angling Club monthly competitions. I have also fished the Warrnambool Easter Competition, Warrnambool Shipwreck Coast Fishing Classic and GoFish Nagambie.
What’s been your biggest competition win to date?

Go Fish Nagambie. I caught a 65 cm Murray Cod during the Cod O’Clock session that came in closest to the 74cm target. As a result, I won a Jayco Jtrax OBX Campertrailer valued at $27,500!

Do you own a boat?

Yes. I used to have a Stacer Car Topper that got me into the boating. However, it was hard yakka getting it off the roof and on to the water. So, I decided to upgrade to a Stacer Outlaw 429 to make it easier for me and Matthew – now we just have to back the trailer into the water.

Did it take you long to learn how to use a boat?

I am still learning! Matt and I are a great team. He drives the boat on the trailer, I hook it up to the catch then proceed to drive off the ramp and we both strap the boat down. I am yet to do a solo adventure because I don’t feel I have enough experience yet.

Why do you love owning a boat?

It’s such an awesome way to explore Victoria’s beautiful waterways and it’s opened the door to new fishing locations for me.

I love being able to watch the sun rise and fall in places like Yarrawonga, especially when its foggy – it’s just magical. Having a boat also allows you to see wildlife, such as birds, dolphins and even deer, you might not be able to when fishing from the shore.

What’s the most challenging thing about using a boat?

I haven’t backed a boat in the water and it’s something I’m still a bit hesitant to do because of the pressure to get it right. I need to find a quiet ramp in the off-season to practice this skill because it’s something I want to master.

Going to the toilet on the boat is another real challenge, particularly for us women. This was a real issue at GoFish Nagambile when there were over 1000 boats on the water! Luckily, I managed to find a hiding spot.

Finally, bad behaviour at the boat ramp can be a real downer at times especially during peak snapper season. Rather than getting frustrated and shouty, I wish people would be patient or offer to help because it would make it much easier and safer for folks to get on and off the water.

Tiffany NewtonWhat’s your favourite boat ramp and why?

Majors Boat Ramp Yarrawonga. It’s quick and easy to launch the boat and tie up to the floating pontoon. I also like the Hopkins River at Jubilee Park. The ramp is great and there is plenty of room to line up the boats on the floating pontoon.

What’s your least favourite boat ramp and how would you improve it?

Kirks Point. I had a bad experience with my partner and friend when a storm blew up out of nowhere. The ramp is in poor shape and there are heaps of rocks and nothing to tie up to.

Thanks to the bad weather and the situation the boat could have got into, Matt had to swim to shore to get the trailer.

Don’t get me wrong, the ramp provides access to some great fishing spots for snapper and flatties, but I don’t think it’s very safe and I’m in no rush to head back. I think some platoons and better and safer lighting would really improve things.

Tell me about your most memorable boating experience?

Without a doubt it was when I was on the Hopkins River at Warrnambool and caught 92cm mulloway – my personal best. My partner was on the phone talking work and I was casting my soft plastic lure for bream when a steam train hit! I was fishing light gear and it took me almost 30 minutes to land the monster. Once the fish was in the boat, I just sat down and cried with joy – it was a very special moment.

What advice would you give to anyone looking at getting into boating?

Get along to the Melbourne Boat Show for a start! It’s a one stop shop for information on boats, gear and boating safety and a great chance to talk to experienced boaters and fishers face-to-face.

I’d also recommend visiting Maritime Safety Victoria and the Boating Industry Association of Victoria for information on the rules and regulations and courses for becoming a better boater.

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