Friday, March 25, 2011

Celebrity Interview - Dick Johnson - Hot fishing tips from a motor racing legend

Exclusive FishMax Interview

Now retired from driving, Dick Johnson has no intention of stepping away from the sport that has made him a popular national sporting personality and one of the most successful racing drivers in Australian history. The  five-time Australian Touring Car Champion and a three-time winner of the Bathurst 1000 is, like so many of his fellow Queenslanders, a keen fisherman.

Dick was kind enough to take time out of his  ongoing hands-on role with the Dick Johnson Racing team that  to answer some questions for us.

FM: What’s your earliest fishing memory?
I was about 8 years old.  We were living at Woody Point and I used to go fishing off the rocks there. I’d caught a swordfish and was carrying it home with the rod over my shoulder.

I made a wrong move and the hook on the end of the line went straight through my backside! I had to go home like that and mum had to pull the hook all the way through to get it out.

Another time I was fishing in the Noosa River with my father. He had tied the boat up to beacon so we could fish. Unfortunately he forgot to untie the boat and we ended up towing the beacon away.

To make it worse it was a hire boat!

FM: Catch and release or take home to eat?
It depends on the situation. I certainly release all the female crabs.  When I got to Swains Reef we normally catch enough reef fish to suit our needs. We always up the minimum size to be safe.

FM: Where is your favourite fishing spot?
Swains Reef. So peaceful and there are so many different species of fish there. Plus they always put up a good fight!

 FM: Your best fishing story?
It was in the late 80’s. We set out from Port Douglas on a game fishing trip. We were on the Palmer Tube Mills boat – Pipedream.

I caught and released a 950 pound marlin (which I have video evidence of).

It took almost 3 hours to catch it and sometimes you wouldn’t sight the thing for an hour. It towed the boat 5 nautical miles out to sea backwards and we went through 2 bottles of dishwashing liquid on the seat under my bum so I could slide around.

 FM: How often do you go fishing?
Quite a bit.  I fish seriously for seven days straight once a year which I've been doing for the last 20 years.

FM: Where is the most exotic place you’ve been fishing?
A fishing tournament in Hawaii.  That was pretty amazing.

 FM: Do you have a fishing tip you’re willing to share?
When you hook a decent fish, just be patient and let your rod,  reel and line do the rest.

Next week - Dick share's his favourite seafood recipe. And that's not all, for all you motor heads out there, stay tuned for our exclusive interviews with the next generation - Dick's son Steve Johnson and James Moffat, son of legendary Australian motor sport hero, Alan Moffat.

Words: Stevo Perry Pics: Dick Johnson Racing Team

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