Family Support - Matthew Langford

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Matthew Langford
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Within the Tournament community there are many factors that can contribute to the success and comfort of competitors. In my opinion, it’s those who have the undying and endless support from their families that are most likely to continue competing and enjoying the pleasures and dealing with the hardships of tournament fishing.Within the Tournament community there are many factors that can contribute to the success and comfort of competitors. In my opinion, it’s those who have the undying and endless support from their families that are most likely to continue competing and enjoying the pleasures and dealing with the hardships of tournament fishing.

Within the tournament community there are many factors that can contribute to the success and comfort of competitors. In my opinion, it’s those who have the undying and endless support from their families that are most likely to continue competing and enjoying the pleasures and dealing with the hardships of tournament fishing.

Probably one of the greatest motivators for my fishing thus far has been the support of my family. They are always encouraging and make it easy for me to go away and compete at the highest level. There have been countless times that I have attended tournaments and had my fiancée Annette, my son William or my Mum or Dad right there with me. Annette’s support and encouragement is endless and she will do whatever she can to help take the pressure off to get the job done or give me the greatest chance of doing well. This isn’t just a one-sided affair, there must be mutual support for each other and it all comes down to team work.

To me, nothing is more important than family. Family will always come first and the greatest thing about fishing tournaments is that we can all do it together. When I go away, there’s always plenty of opportunity to spend time enjoying travel and the outdoors. Myself and Annette have travelled to some great destinations together and when it comes to fishing, we see it as an opportunity to get away and relax. We’ve travelled to places like Cania Gorge National Park, Lismore and the Richmond River, and Lake Glenbawn. Annette regularly fishes with me, and regularly out fishes me. The experience together is valuable to my career and our growth together. On tournament weekends, she is always helping, making lunches, helping to prep the boat and anything required for a day on the water. If it helps she’ll be there.

Tournament weekends are also a great opportunity to get your kids involved in fishing. Most tournaments have a junior section and B.A.S.S. Australia Nation have a youth tournament. To take your kids with you fishing is special. Last year I had the opportunity to take my young fella, William with me to a Basstasstic event at Lake Borumba. We had a great time together, talking and having fun fishing. Even if the tournament doesn’t allow juniors there is still plenty of families that take their kids along to events, and plenty of opportunities to play with other kids.

The one thing that I enjoy about fishing is the family. There is a lot of guys with families and many take them wherever they go. It’s not just for blokes either, there is plenty of women who fish as well. Take Bill and Cindy Schloss as a prime example. Cindy fishes most tournaments but when she doesn’t she’s right there helping Bill or the other people around her. Jill and Francis Wales are also another great couple that travel up and down the east coast enjoying the tournaments and the travel together. A lot of the time spent away from home is a getaway, the mates, camping, traveling and the lifestyle is what is all about and the reason why so many families and couples enjoy travelling away to tournaments together. It’s a way of life.

Even though I’m all grown up, I still have the support and encouragement of my parents. Mum and Dad are both in their 70’s but are still active and always doing whatever they can for their kids. They are regularly at tournaments watching the weigh in or calling to see how I went. My Dad is the one who first got me into fishing and has been there the whole way. He loves coming on the road and keeping me company. My most memorable trip was when we both travelled down to Blue Rock in Victoria. We had 21 hours to talk and remember past adventures as well as talking about a game plan for the tournament. We saw some amazing sights and experienced it together.

Dad gave me the opportunities when I was younger to experience the bush and life on the river. He taught me how to stop and observe what’s around you and how everything operates in the bush. Fishing the dams and rivers is exactly the same, and I have a very strong understanding of how the native world operates, purely because I spent so much time outdoors with dad when I was young.

Sometimes it’s not always about having the family come along with you, just the fact of being allowed to head away and get some time away from the family can be therapeutic. We are all different and live under different circumstances but the main thing is having the opportunity and knowing that your loved ones are there for you and supportive is the best way to find some comfort and focus.

Doing what we do alone can still be fun, but sharing it with the people you love is probably the most rewarding experience of all. Having family support is very warming and takes large amounts of stress away from an event. Dean Sylvester and Marnie Watson have a motto: "Team work makes the dream work." This is spot on, everything is so much easier and special when you have your family by your side.

If you ever have the opportunity, take the family with you next time you head away on an event. It might just be the start of something special. 

Matthew Langford