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In 2019, circumstances have forced regular Barra’Prentice mentor, Vicki Lear, out of her role, so we have a new recruit! Georgi Saunders is an accomplished angling all-rounder who’s generously accepted our invitation to join our mentoring team and, once you’ve read her potted history below, we think you’ll agree that we’re lucky to have her on board!

Hi All! I’m Georgi…

Steve Starling swims a lit-up, mature dusky flathead before release. This fish has been tagged and genetic samples taken for scientific research.

My love affair with fishing first began when I was little girl… I would fish off the wharf at Lavender Bay in Sydney for Leather Jacket, just to pass the time.

But the passion really bit in my teens, when my legend-of-a-stepfather, Denis Pigott would take me bass fishing in the upper Hawkesbury; I still vividly remember the day I caught that first Bass. That thrill never leaves me!

At the time, my family owned “Windsor Bait and Tackle” where I worked and built up local knowledge, almost as quickly as my lure boxes filled up like candy jars! Very convenient 😉

As we were all keen on fishing, my family joined the Hawkesbury Fishing Club and I began to fish various freshwater competitions. I recall the great weekends and camaraderie fondly. 

And of course, I met my husband through fishing, which was fantastic.

Being a bit of a tomboy, I always wanted my own boat. I bought my first one in the Northern Territory and shipped it down to my home, where I quickly began to fishing as many places as I could. Along the way, I’ve fished with some amazing people who taught me something different each time we went out. I firmly believe that you never stop learning.

Some of my major highlights are fishing the Freshwater Masters for many years with a few different “master fisho’s”, competing in the Reel Womens Glenbawn comp and winning the female sections of the Lake Windamere Golden Classic, Kempsey Bass, Southern Bass Tulloch Dam and the Hawkesbury Classic, to name a few. 

Healthy habit = healthy fishery. It's that simple.

But the most memorable win (and the one dearest to my heart) was “Champion Mixed Team 2002 Barra Nationals”, when I had the privilege and pleasure of fishing with the legendary Tony Hare and John Knolls from Knolls lures.

Fortunately for me, a couple of years later Gary Quinn from Xtreme boats and Platypus Lines sponsored me to fish the Nationals with the first all-girls crew from a boat with a rather tongue-in-cheek, unfortunate name Xtreme Pussy. As you can imagine, the blokes thought this was great at the comp.

Litter left on any river or road in Australia will end up in the ocean. Theres no excuse and every human has a responsibility.

Unfortunately, Day 3 had a surprise in store and a sneaky log above “Browns” was not on our side. Let’s just say we spent a lot of time in the pool at Wally’s for the rest of the Tournament. Despite our misfortune, we all had a ball and I was lucky enough to come home with a very special boat that still pulls stunned looks and cat calls, whenever I go fishing.

I fished the Nationals for several years before deciding to start a family. Fishing was put on hold at that point and we moved from the Hawkesbury region to the Mid North Coast of NSW, where we live to this day.

Now that my two boys are a bit older, we are starting to go fishing as a family. We haven’t even scratched the surface fishing on the Manning River (our local waterway) and I’m certainly look forward to exploring all its amazing waterways and tributaries.

I believe that even when you’re not catching fish somewhere on the fresh or the salt, there is still so many amazing things going on to capture your imagination. Just being out there is good for the soul.