Shimano Ambassador and model Bridget Rootsey has been causing ripples in the local angling world with her winning streak at reeling in barra and billfish.
Bridget puts her fish-whispering ways (she won Champion Angler at the annual NT Billfish Classic in October 2020) down to wearing her lucky Shimano cap, and occasionally her Akubra hat – if there’s no breeze on the water.
“I love my Shimano cap,” said Bridget, who’s been fishing since she was a kid.
The former Barooga resident took to the world stage in 2016 as one of six New South Wales finalists in the Miss World Australia competition.
These days she’s swapped catwalks for boat ramps and is happy spending weekends fishing well-known waterways like the Adelaide River and Daly River with her partner, Kurt Williamson.
Her most memorable barra catch came last year when she lured in a monster measuring a whopping 112cm while fishing the Roper River in the Katherine region.
“It was 4.30am and I wasn’t properly awake,” Bridget said. “I couldn’t see much as it was still dark when I felt something big tug at the fizzer lure. I was praying it wasn’t a croc.
“This barra was a real fighter and I wasn’t ready for the size of her, but I kept my cool and reeled her in. As soon as I have a hit I’m onto it.”
Bridget practices catch and release, knows her bag limits and always lets the big girls go. Like Shimano, she is an advocate of ensuring safe, sustainable, accessible and enjoyable fishing for the Territory community.
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