Ir­re­sistible lure of home

Ex­pert an­gler and TV’s face of fish­ing, Scott Hil­lier talks about his re­turn to the Sun­shine Coast

Life & Style Weekend - - READ - BY Layne Whit­burn

As on old fish­ing tale goes, good things come to those who bait. For keen fish­er­man Scott Hil­lier, leav­ing home on the Sun­shine Coast for al­most 20 years to pur­sue a ca­reer in the me­dia has well and truly paid off. Now a suc­cess­ful and es­tab­lished TV per­son­al­ity, Scott has fi­nally moved back to Mar­coola Beach.

Still busy trav­el­ling and host­ing Chan­nel 7’s Creek to Coast, pro­mot­ing BCF as a brand am­bas­sador, a reg­u­lar fish­ing re­porter for both TV and ra­dio, plus hus­band to Helga and fa­ther of two – Ben, 20, and Baily, 18 – Scott’s life is ac­tion packed. But he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Most four-wheel-driv­ing blokes with a “gone fish­ing” bumper sticker will agree, trav­el­ling from creek to coast in search for the best fish­ing spot sounds like one rip­per of a hol­i­day. But for Scott, it’s his job.

“I love it. I am very lucky to do what I do and I just love fish­ing,” he said.

His en­thu­si­asm is con­ta­gious. Af­ter spend­ing an af­ter­noon with this fun-lov­ing lar­rikin, it’s easy to see why pur­su­ing a ca­reer in TV was the right path for Scott.

“I love talk­ing. I’d love to catch up with my English teacher. I went to high school in Nam­bour and I re­mem­ber she al­ways used to get up me for talk­ing too much,” he said.

“And now I get paid to talk.”

How­ever, be­hind the en­ter­tain­ment, jokes and end­less laughs, there is a sen­si­tive side to Scott, re­vealed when asked about his move back home to the Sun­shine Coast.

“It’s al­ways been the plan to move back to the Coast,” he said.

But in Oc­to­ber 2013 Scott’s fa­ther’s health took a turn for the worse.

“Dad was ill so it was go­ing to be our last Christ­mas with my par­ents,” he said.

“Mum and dad’s deck was re­ally patchy and they loved sit­ting out there so the goal was to get them a deck be­fore Chrissy.

“Talk about mate­ship… When the word came out I was liv­ing in North Queens­land. All my mates knew mum and dad and they knew we wanted to get this area cleared and con­creted.

“Se­ri­ously, the word went out and on the Satur­day morn­ing there must have been 10 guys that gave their own time, never wanted any money, all turned up. Be­tween builders, con­creters, they were all there.”

But it was Scott’s child­hood friend, Shane O’Brien of Van­tage Homes, who re­ally got the project rolling.

“I rang Shane and said, mate, I know you’re build­ing 400 houses but I’d love a deck by Christ­mas. And Shane dropped ev­ery­thing, sent a team there and had the deck for mum and dad and we had Christ­mas on the deck, the whole fam­ily to­gether in 2013. They ac­tu­ally had prob­a­bly three weeks be­fore Chrissy on this beau­ti­ful deck which they love.

“Mum died in Fe­bru­ary 2014 and dad died in March 2014.” While Scott knew his dad wasn’t well af­ter suf­fer­ing a stroke, the death of his mother was a bit­ter shock.

“She had man­aged breast can­cer for many, many years but then it just de­cided it was time,” he said.

“She ac­tu­ally had a cough at Christ­mas. I re­mem­ber sit­ting there and she had a cough and we said go in to see your doc­tor.

“So she went in and they said it was can­cer all around her oe­soph­a­gus.”

While Scott ad­mits it’s a bit of a sob story, his chirpy per­son­al­ity soon re­turns while rem­i­nisc­ing about his par­ents and the fond mem­o­ries shared in­side their Mar­coola beach house.

“Dad ac­tu­ally built the house in 1972 with his mates.”

Af­ter los­ing both par­ents, Scott and his wife Helga moved back home to the Sun­shine Coast in 2015 and de­cided to buy his fam­ily’s old shack to keep the mem­o­ries alive.

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

THUMBS UP: Scott Hil­lier well and truly landed the big one – get­ting paid to travel from creek to coast in search of the best fish­ing spots and share his ad­ven­tures on TV.

Scott and his son Ben land a 1.01m barra in Townsville.

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