Why Fishing is the new Golf

Why Fishing is the new Golf

Golf tourism was huge in the 90’s. Huge! International tourists flocked to our shores to play a round of golf on a beautifully manicured course, resplendent with velvet green fairways that simply belied the drought-like environment to which it belonged.  Cockatoos screeched high in gum trees, kangaroos blocked the 18th hole and even a crocodile or two did not allow the player to finish a round for fear of losing more than his 9 iron.

The industry grew and attracted more than 1.575 million golf trips in one year and generated 8.4 million golf visitor nights. Not bad for a niche market attracting a purpose-driven new visitor to Australia.

And all the while fishing tourism was growing, but in the 90’s it had the reputation for rough-heads, rough boats and rough beer.  To quote Forest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”, and that is exactly how the fishing market played out.  You never knew what you were going to get.  Where golf had a face of distinction, fishing had the face of a bogan. 

Fast forward twenty years and we see the golf market steady, established and still thriving, but fishing has not only caught up, it has quickly surpassed golf as Australia’s new destination-driven activity.  The diversity of Australia’s fishing experiences is as vast as the country itself.  And any way you look at it, Australia is an angler’s paradise.

And it has grown up considerably.  There are more reputable, professional, luxurious (yes, you can associate fishing with luxury now) fishing activities across Australia that are considered world renowned.  Not only for the catch on offer but the people in the industry who have worked hard to change the face of leisure and corporate fishing in Australia.

Football teams, movie stars and even our own golfing great, Greg Norman are hooked on fishing in Australia. On a local level, we are seeing more team-building, more celebrations and more incentive and rewards involving fishing.  And it’s not just for the boys.  Fishing is in our DNA people so let us throw out the bait and reel in a new tourist to Australia!


Elliot Esdaile