No stranger to the game, Mat Baxter has built a name for himself angling off the east coast. So how did he get here? Well we asked him for you.
Question: Where did it all begin, when did you start fishing?
Mat: I think the first time I picked up a rod I was about 4 or 5 years old, my pop would take me down to fish off the bank in Bayside Brisbane/Jumpinpin area when I was that avge. I absolutely hated it apparently! Never really fished again until I was about 18, a friend at the time took me to fish off a jetty, I caught three undersized bream and I was just over the moon stoked. That pretty much grabbed me straight away. It took me a couple weeks to start throwing lures and I haven’t looked back since.
Question: Where is your favourite spot? Or second favourite if you want to keep it a secret?
Mat: I honestly don’t think there is one particular spot, but if I had to say anywhere, it’d have to be the Great Barrier Reef. Absolutely incredible place, from the beauty to the ridiculous fishing where it can be a fish a cast at times, it’s hard to beat!
Question: What's your favourite species of fish to target?
Mat: I’m not 100% on favourite to ‘target’ as the fishing for these fish can be monotonous at times, but my favourite fish to catch without a doubt is Barramundi. Can’t beat ‘em.
Question: What’s your go-to setup for that fish?
Mat: Typically i’ll take three to four setups with me, all around that 10-20lb rod range 150-200 size baitcast reel or a 3k - 4k spin reel, matched with 30lb braid and a 50lb - 100lb leader depending on size class of fish and the location. As for lures, I do tend to favour prawn imitations big or small, as well as your classic paddle tails. Also in the dam’s, a jerkbait or swimbait get’s thrown as well. All depends on the scenario in terms of location, bait presence, conditions, ect.
Question: What's your number #1 tip for anglers/best advice you’ve been given?
Mat: My #1 piece of advice to anglers out there would have to be, break out of the bubble. What I mean by that, is keep your mind open, don’t get close minded or get tunnel vision on what works for other people or where someone is fishing or what someone else is using/doing. Take in the information that’s given to you from peers, family, ect, but DO NOT use that information as the bible, like it’s the only way to do things. For one, some of the information you hear will be untrue. Some of the information you hear will just be a product of other people’s close mindedness. Don’t be afraid to give things a go, regardless of what you’ve heard from other people. The amount of times i’ve been told I shouldn’t do something because it doesn’t or won’t work and then have gone and done it. So that’s my advice, keep your mind open and you’ll figure things out for yourself under time on the water. Who knows, you might figure out or find something that no one else has before.
Question: Do you have a dream fishing spot?
Mat: If we’re talking anywhere in the world, I’d love to go to Panama in South America. I’ve watched a bit of Robert Field on Youtube over the last couple years and catch a big Rooster Fish and Cubera Snapper would be super cool. Also hit up Florida and catch some Snook. They’re like the American version of Barra which is why I want to catch one. If we’re talking Australia, I’d love to a trip up the cape or to the gulf and try to clean up on Barra, that would be cool.
Question: What is your favourite fishing memory?
Mat: Ah man there’s so many it’s hard to pick one out in particular. First metre barra. Flats Marlin on Fraser island. PB Threadfin Salmon in Rocky. Metre plus Pennant fish on the jig. PB Fingermark on jig. Getting mum her first ever Jewfish. So many unreal moments, hard to come close to naming a favourite. Part of the reason I love doing youtube is because I get to relive a lot of these moments through film.