Kingaroy fisherman hooks national title
FISHING: Born and raised in Queensland's inland fishing capital, Matthew Langford was always destined for fishing greatness.
This weekend his childhood dream came true when he was named Australia's Bass 2018 Angler of the Year at Boondooma Dam.
Langford grew up in St George chasing Murray cod, yellowbelly and silver perch.
"I've always loved fishing,” he said.
"I used to watch it on TV and I'd look up to these professional fishermen and I knew that that's what I wanted to do.”
Five years ago, Langford made a decision to chase his dream full time.
"We've donated so much time to it, so you do have an advantage over guys who just do it occasionally and on weekends,” he said.
"I spent three years as a co-angler, where you fish off the back of a professional's boat, almost like an apprenticeship,” he said.
"And I've been a pro for the past couple of years so to achieve this is surreal, and it's awesome we've finally got there.”
Langford said the best bass anglers competed over six rounds throughout Australia, each vying for the prestigious title.
"Being consistent with highest-placed finishes and catching the biggest bass most often is what led to angler of the year,” he said.
"We worked really hard over the past 12-18months to succeed in this arena, and it was amazing to be rewarded.
"From winning this, we won a trip to the US next year to compete against anglers from all around the world,” he said.
"The biggest competitions in the world are run in America, and we can't wait to see how those really big tournaments are run overseas.”
Langford has fished three times before in the United States.
"They actually chase a different species of bass. I've had a bit of experience, but they do different things to our bass. Just going over there and experiencing that level of fishing and learning will be the main thing.”
Langford said the key to being a successful angler was having confidence to trust your instincts.
"You need to be consistent and capitalise on your opportunities,” he said.
His other secret weapon is his wife, Annette.
"She just makes it really easy for me,” he said.
"It's hard enough doing this on your own and she's 100 per cent supportive.
"She organises all the behind-the-scenes stuff, takes the pressure off and she makes it so easy so I can focus on the task at hand,” he said.
"The success isn't just mine, it's what we've done together to get here.”