I hooked my dream job

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHRIS LEES

THIRTY- THREE years ago Ed­die Rid­dle came to Townsville for a fish­ing trip and he’s still on it.

The fish­ing was so good he never left and de­cided to make his hobby his job.

“My fa­ther was in the army and I came up to visit him … and I never went back,” Ed­die said.

“The fish­ing lit­er­ally brought me to North Queens­land, I used to read sto­ries in fish­ing mag­a­zines about Cape Bowl­ing Green and back then it was a world class bill fish­ery.”

Ed­die said he had been fish­ing for as long as he could re­mem­ber – the best part of 50 years he reck­ons.

“I grew up in south west Queens­land, near Goondi­windi, that’s where I was born, I spent plenty of time on the river­banks chas­ing cod, yel­low­belly and yab­bies,” he said.

Once he got to Townsville, Ed­die started work­ing in a tackle store and then be­gan work­ing as a fish­ing guide.

“It was a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion after start­ing work in a tackle store in 1988. I was in tackle stores for about 15 years, then I started writ­ing as a fish­ing colum­nist for the Bul­letin 23 years ago, then went on to news pro­grams and I thought I’d keep go­ing and I be­came a guide,” he said. Ed­die has been a fish­ing guide for about 10 years in Townsville, run­ning his own char­ter busi­ness, Fish City Char­ters.

Al­though most peo­ple think it’s a dream job and he gets to throw a line in all the time, Ed­die said that was not re­ally the case.

“Be­ing out on the wa­ter is the glossy side of it, there’s a lot of be­hind the scenes work like main­te­nance and that’s why peo­ple pay you, so they can walk onto a boat and walk off it,” he said.

“A lot of peo­ple are un­der the mis­con­cep­tion that you fish all the time, where in fact you don’t fish much, you guide peo­ple and of­fer tu­ition when they need it.”

But Ed­die said the best thing about be­ing a guide was putting peo­ple onto their dream fish.

“You see big tough men go weak in the knees some­times, they will hook things they never dreamt pos­si­ble and some­times you put peo­ple onto their first fish ever and their eyes are as big as saucers and they turn into gib­ber­ing wrecks,” he said. “There’s a lot of job sat­is­fac­tion there that’s for sure.”

Asked about his favourite fish to catch and put peo­ple onto, the an­swer was var­ied.

Finger­mark for the ta­ble, the iconic bar­ra­mundi and the ac­ro­batic queen­fish are Ed­die’s pick of the lot.

FIN- TAS­TIC HAUL: Ed­die Rid­dle is all smiles after catch­ing a large- mouth nan­ny­gai.

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