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