FOREVER FISHING: Robert Clow is happiest when he's out on the water. Photo Helen Spelitis / Gladstone Observer
FOREVER FISHING: Robert Clow is happiest when he's out on the water. Photo Helen Spelitis / Gladstone Observer Helen Spelitis

(Some of) Robert Clow's secrets about living on the Boyne

SALT water runs through Robert Clow's veins.

His family is descended from the Vikings and there's nowhere he would rather be than out on the water with a fishing rod in hand.

He has been fishing the Boyne Tannum area for 40 years and hasn't missed a single HookUp. But he has never seen more bream in the Boyne River.

"The floods were exactly what the river needed. It's natural," he said. "In all the years I have been fishing here there has never been as many bream as there has been in the last two years."

Mr Clow remembers the first HookUp and has proudly watched it grow into the biggest fishing competition in the southern hemisphere.

"There were only a handful of people at the first one," Mr Clow said

"There was no fence around the park, no rides and the prize was a car, I believe.

"I think there was a merry-go-round and that was all the entertainment. It was backyard stuff but we still had fun."

His home is across the road from Bray Park. It is testament to his love of the sea. Shipping rope hangs in place of banisters on the front deck. Hanging on the wall inside is a large trophy sailfish, the dining table is decorated with sea shells and the ceiling looks like an upturned wooden ship hull.

It's funny because I am impatient. I hate waiting for anything - the bus, a plane, anything. But I will sit and wait all day for a fish.

Mr Clow's daughter Holly has never had fish and chips from a shop because her dad catches and cooks his own.

She said being born a Clow meant "you have to be able to fish because salt water runs through our veins".

"We eat fish three times a week," Mr Clow said.

"Family is everything. I taught my kids to fish. "Our lives have always revolved around fishing and camping. We wouldn't live here otherwise."

Mr Clow never struggles to catch a fish in the Boyne River, but maybe that's because he has the right bait.

Like a true fisherman he doesn't buy his bait - he catches it himself. He uses yabbies, crabs or herring caught fresh that day and knows all the best spots along the river - although he wasn't willing to share all his secrets.

"You need fresh bait - that's nature. When do you see a fish eating frozen squid? I have been fishing all my life. I love it. My mother loved fishing. My kids love fishing.

"When you're fishing you haven't got to think about anything else.

"It's funny because I am impatient. I hate waiting for anything - the bus, a plane, anything. But I will sit and wait all day for a fish."

Mr Clow loves the Boyne River, the Hook Up and everything about the town so much that he wants to stay forever.

When he dies his ashes will be spread in the mouth of the river - just like those of his mother.

"If you put the ashes in the sea it doesn't matter if your family lives all around Australia. They only have to go down to the water to be with you."

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