Russell MacKay is a fisherman with a big heart.
He began trout and salmon fishing in 1996 after a neighbour at Pines Beach, Canterbury encouraged him to give it a try. “I did it to begin, mainly to keep him company.”
Russell bought some gear, never looked back and you can’t fault his commitment.
He’s now in his second year of running the Kairaki Beach Motor Camp salmon fishing competition, after years of manning the BBQ, and is also on the New Zealand Salmon Anglers Association Committee where he is also a fundraising stalwart. “I’m enjoying it.”
Russell is a former deer stalker and rabbit and hare hunter who decided one day that he “didn’t like the killing anymore.” Although he catches 200-250 fish a season he is mostly a catch and release fisherman. He has enormous respect for the fight that fish put up and thinks releasing them is sportsmanlike. “I might keep one out of 100 for the table.”
Russell travels far and wide around the South Island fishing for trout but favours the local Waimakariri River for his salmon fishing. “Living at Kairaki I really cannot see any point in fishing elsewhere for them.” He bought a 3 metre inflatable, some launching wheels, an outboard, tiller handle, seat bags, cushion and rod holders from Rockboat Marine and has nothing but praise for Tony. “I saw the listing on Trademe but did my homework on different boats and motors, then talked to Tony and went and had a look.”
He purchased the boat mainly so he can fish the South side of the ‘Mack instead of driving up the beach from Spencerville. Russell is more than happy with the outcome. The boat handles really well and it is very easy for one person to launch and retrieve it on their own which is a huge bonus.
“I’m over the moon with the boat and the service that I received from Tony is terrific”