My name is Guy Fenwick,
I am 24 years old and I live in the ACT. I work as a carpenter and as a crewman on game fishing boats around Australia. I love all types of fishing from chasing Barramundi up coastal creeks to 1000lb black marlin off the great barrier reef. Every chance I get I will get in the water for a dive and a spearfish. I’m obsessed with anything to do with the water.
How did you start working on boats and in the fishing industry?
I started working on boats when I was 18, I had done a few trips with one of the local charter operators Benn from CharterFish Narooma throughout the year, it was coming up to Christmas and I was spending a few weeks down the coast with my girlfriend at the time and her family. So I thought ill ring Benn and see if I could come help out for a few days on the boats. So I could get out on the water and learn more about Bluewater fishing as at this time I had done very little. From here my love of crewing on boats came to life.
What’s the best aspect of working on boats that keeps you coming back every year?
There are a few things that keep me coming back each season. One of these things is the clients, over the years I have had some amazing return customers that I have had some very memorable fishing experiences with. Being able to catch up with them after a year and see where else they have been fishing. Another reason is time on the water. Being a crewman means I can spend more time on the water fishing and learning as I can still make an income. Lastly, I get to fish with some of the best fishos in the industry and I get to learn so much knowledge from them. This makes a massive difference when I’m recreationally game fishing.
You work on a heap of game charters, what’s your favourite part about seeing someone capture a fish of this calibre for their first time or a fish of a lifetime?
Working on game fishing charter boats means I get to take a lot of people to catch their first billfish or tuna. Which is one of the most special feelings watching them do battle with a fish of that calibre? I have two that stand out in particular. The first was the start of this year on the NSW south coast fishing out of Narooma aboard a 30ft custom walk around called Playstation. We took two older ladies about 70 and one of their husbands out marlin fishing while a hot bite was on. We sight ceased 4 or 5 striped marlins off bait balls for them. Something I will certainly never forget. The second was fishing out of Cairns last year during the heavy tackle marlin season. We had one client on for 4 days the first 3.5 days we didn’t see a fish. On the last afternoon, we made a move and pushed south to the famous Linden Banks. We had only been there for about half an hour when. My swimbait pops out of the clip and I thought to myself that sounded good. Then we were tight to a fish we called right on 1000lb and not only was it the clients first big black marlin but his first billfish ever.
You have got a big passion for fishing, how does this passion flow over into your work?
I'm very fortunate and know a couple of unreal builders, Adam and Ben. They let me come and go between the few fishing seasons and trips I do each year. My passion for fishing flows into my work. With the same eye for detail and drive for a successful result. Either it is working on a game boat or on the tools my work ethic does not change. I wake up with a get it done attitude no matter what the work may be.
For anyone looking to getting into this industry, what advice would you give them?
For anyone looking at getting into the industry, my tips are, listen to your Captain or another crewman. This is how you gain their respect and how you will learn the most. Watch, watch everything take it all in. The watercolour, what the currents doing, what are the birds doing, take in every little detail and you will quickly learn the ingredients to a fishy area. Clients and an organised boat take priority, fishing comes last. If you have a tough day fishing and you have kept them happy you will still have a good day. If you keep your clients happy and catch fish you’ll have an amazing day. Lastly, be prepared for big hours. Up early making sure the boats tidy and ready for the clients and then to bed late making sure all your tackle and rods are ready for the next day.
What does an average schedule for your year look like?
My average year looks like January to May South coast stripe marlin season. During this time I end up back on the tools if the weather isn’t playing the game or if the fish aren’t around. May to August its Yellowfin and Bluefin time, which is the same as if its bad weather I'll be back on the tools. September I take an annual leisurely Barra trip to different parts of the top end. End of September to end of November Heavy tackle marlin season out of Cairns to Lizard Island. December I’m usually at home gearing up for the next marlin season. Which wraps up some very busy years.
What’s your most memorable experience working on a boat?
The best thing that has come out of working on boats is meeting two of what are now some of my best mates and has opened so many doors in my fishing career while taking me to some amazing places with some memories ill never forget.
While I spend so much time crewing on these boats a lot of people think I would be overfishing. But every day I’m not crewing on a boat I’m in my boat or on a mate chasing every species of fish you can think of. I’ve managed several very memorable fish while I’m fishing recreationally from 125cm saltwater Barra to metre cod and 70kg plus topwater yellowfin in local waters.
WRITTEN AND EXPERIENCED BY GUY FENWICK