FISHING: In his first year on the professional fishing circuit Matthew Langford has achieved his goal of becoming 2017 Rookie of the Year.
Langford is proud of the title and throughout the season was in the position to be the best in the country but was short by a few points.
"To be in your own boat as a pro and win Rookie of the Year, that was a highlight, but to be consistent and be in the top ranks in Australia, that is what I have enjoyed,” he said.
"You develop respect for the guys that are always up there and it is good to get some respect back from seasoned anglers.”
The biggest lesson Langford has taken away from his first season is the importance of confidence and self-belief in the sport.
"It is about being able to make crucial decisions at the right time,” he said.
"This is because you are dealing with so many different elements, pressure from other anglers and not only competing against them but competing against the fish, the weather is always changing and you've got to try and move where the fish move.
"You have got to keep evolving and keep on your toes and develop new strategies.”
In the grand final tournaments, competitors have the chance to win a trip to compete in the US.
Langford knows the challenges one can face when making the move as his cousin is the only Australian competing in the professional circuit there.
"If you are consistent enough for long enough you can do it,” Langford said.
"It's such a big learning curve going over there because you are fishing a different fish.
"It is a massive move to do it but if the opportunity arose I would take it with both hands.”
Langford gave up his job as a full-time teacher to pursue his passion and aims to teach others about fishing.
He has a large audience on Facebook and contributes to magazines.
"With tournament fishing, if you want to do well you have to throw everything inand say I'm all in,” he said.
"I have a passion for fishing and a passion for teaching and I want to put them together and teach people how to fish and getthem the most out of their visit to the South Burnett.
"Trying to teach people how to fish is the goal but every day I am learning new things as well.”
Langford teamed up with fellow South Burnett angler Corey Goldie to win Queensland Team of the Year.
Goldie speaks highly of the work ethic and determination Langford hasshown throughout the year.
"His professionalism is probably the best on the circuit, I've never seen anyone prepare as well as him,” Goldie said.
"His knowledge in 12 months would beat some guys' knowledge who have been on the circuit for 20years.
"He does pre-study, he knows what lures work in what situations, he knows about the weather, he knows the bite and keeps an electronic diary which he can refer back to.”
Goldie also admires the attitude Langford maintains despite the success he has achieved.
"I've never heard Matt try and big-note himself, he is a really humble and talented fisherman,” Goldie said.
In 2018 Langford plans to keep improving and be at the top of the game in Australia.
"The goal is to be consistent, make sure I'm trying to win or trying to be in top five in each competition and to go forangler of the year,” he said.
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