Passion for life drives NZ’s favourite fisher
Hohepa entertains at Matamata Rotary
Catching kahawai with a modified teaspoon, using chocolate wrappers as lures and living life with passion were just some of the secrets Bill Hohepa shared during a charity dinner in Matamata last week.
Hohepa spoke to a crowd of 100 at a fundraising dinner hosted by Rotary Matamata and outlined his passion for fishing, trucks, film making and arguably more importantly, the young and sometimes underprivileged in New Zealand society.
His work with youth was recognised in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List with a Member of the NZ Order of Merit being awarded after decades of holding camps for youngsters, teaching them how to fish and providing mentoring.
Hohepa first sprung to prominence in 1968 when he was asked to write a column in the newspaper – that was to lead to a weekly fishing column in various newspapers, which stretched more than four decades.
He is also the author of several fishing books, and along with wife Linda, has produced hundreds of television shows, including topics such as fishing, 4WD adventures, trucks, and his latest show called Low Gear, sponsored by Matamata firm J Swap Contractors which can be seen on Matamata’s Central TV on Fridays at 8.30pm.
‘‘I started the trucking shows with a series called Talking Trucks, which was an opportunity to talk to the people who were working with trucks in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, hear their stories and get an historical insight into what it was like back in the day,’’ Hohepa said.
‘‘Passion drives everything in life and the people we talk to are absolutely passionate about their trucks and their machines – they are often in their 70s, 80s or 90s and once they are gone their stories have gone too; but now we have a visual record of these for their families to enjoy as well as our considerable number of viewers.’’
‘‘ I really enjoyed my time driving trucks – you learn respect for your machinery, for others on the roads and for your customers, and you get to know yourself and your limitations.’’
Hohepa is best known for his expertise on the water and he had a number of tips for anglers.
‘‘People always ask me ‘Bill why am I not catching fish?’ and the answer is that you need patience to be a fisherman.
‘‘If you are a grumpy bugger you will not catch a fish. The secret to fishing is eyebrows up – be happy with a smile on your face because if there is tension you do not seem to catch many fish.’’
He told the crowd about how he came up with the idea for chocolate wrappers and cutlery as lures, long before the manufactured product was available in New Zealand and he also shared how to ensure you catch more fish.
Money raised from the fundraising dinner will be used by Rotary Matamata to support community activities.
CHARITY DINNER: Rotary Matamata president Owen Farmilo, left, with New Zealand fishing personality Bill Hohepa at the charity dinner in Matamata last week.