Nicky Sinden isn’t your average kiwi beach babe. Far from it. Sure, she does her nails, and gets her hair done like every other kiwi girl, but throw a fishing rod and bait knife her way and she’ll soon show you what she can really do.
The host of Ados Addicted to Fishing, we talk to Nicky Sinden about all things fishing and competing against the boys.
How did you get into fishing?
I have been fishing since I was a sprat myself. My family own part of a small island 5 nautical miles off the coast of Papamoa in the Bay of Plenty (Motiti Island). My uncle and aunty live there and grow avocados, farm bees, cattle and sheep. I spent every summer as a kid out there inspecting rock pools and fishing off the breakwater.
Motiti is where I fell in love with fishing from the age of three, when I was able to hold a hand line. My Uncle & my Dad were my fishing mentors and would take me on fishing adventures during my childhood.
Being one of three girls, I was the tomboy and loved to get my hands dirty. I'd be the girl with a huge smile on my face while having my hands right up inside the gill of a snapper for a photo back on land.
Why do you enjoy it so much?
I love fishing for much less rational reasons than simply providing food on the table. I love to go fishing for the sense of adventure. It’s the unknown mystery of the fact that anything could happen.
It’s the comradery with your friends and family while you are on the water. It’s the sense of relief having your phone out of range and being able to disconnect from every day stress that being on land provides. It’s the challenge of man or woman vs fish and perfecting your rigs, trusting your knots, being a pioneer and believing in yourself enough to give different rigs a go.
You never know what will happen next and when you catch the target species by trying something new you feel a sense of achievement. Then there’s the sharing aspect, coming back to land and filleting your catch and then giving it to everyone you know.
How did ADOS Addicted to Fishing come about?
I have always been passionately curious about fishing and have had a hunger to learn more and share it with those around me.
When Matt Watson held his 'Fishing Apprentice' competition I saw this as the perfect opportunity to up skill my fishing prowess and knowledge by learning from one of the best.
After coming third out of 2,000 entries and being the last female standing, I was invited on a trip around Far North Queensland with the ITM Fishing Show where we fished and filmed another 5 episodes, making my appearance on his show around 16 episodes in total.
I had started to be known in the fishing industry as 'the girl from the fishing show' and people around me suggested that I should start my own show, as there had never been a fishing show in NZ or Australia which had a female host.
I was in no way confident of myself at that point and it took me two years to build up the courage in myself to film a pilot and put it in front of the networks. When I got a big fat yes from Prime TV I quit my job and spent 3 long months acquiring all my sponsors, finding a film crew to contract to me, get the boat built, a website made, organize all the marketing and media and set up my own company.
My vision was to have a down to earth kiwi fishing show which highlighted how stunning our country really is, and to celebrate all the local and rural places that we have right here on our doorstep. We have copious amounts of incredibly talented fisherman and women who have perfected the art of fishing in their area, who deserve recognition for their skills. I wanted to find these people, take them out fishing and share my knowledge as well as theirs with other likeminded information hungry kiwis out there who simply want to learn more about catching fish.
How is it different from other shows?
Having a female presenter isn't the be all and end all but it resonates with females out there and gives females a vision. Previously there hadn’t been any fishing shows which were directed by a female, let alone hosted by one. I have an eye for identifying the cinematic aspect of fishing and love to share the way I see it with viewers.
Education is a huge focus of the show and I spend a lot of time researching and going out fishing so that I can share my findings with the viewers. Fishing isn't something that you can go and learn at university and it doesn't take time on the water to learn it for yourself, so if I can go out and report my findings to help others catch fish then I know I'm doing my job.
Do you have a favourite species you like to target?
That would be like asking which child I like the most if I had kids!
I like to try all different styles of fishing from trolling for Marlin/Mahimahi/Yellowfin; perfecting the technique of live baiting for Kingfish, the thrill of mechanical jigging, jumping in the water with the fish and playing the ultimate game of predator by shooting fish with my speargun, to having a nice relaxing day on the water sitting back and stray lining for snapper.
Is fishing hard?
I love the challenge that fishing provides and there are days where no matter what you do the fish simply won't bite – that’s hard! But I have now had enough experience to know how to target a lot of different species of fish so in my opinion fishing itself isn't hard.
Do guys treat you differently when they find out you’re a fisher chick?'
Men seem to admire the fact that I am a chick with my own boat and ute, and that I am able to fish. They also find it very intimidating! I think being on Tv also doesn't help, as they seem to feel nervous. Dating has never been so difficult to be honest!
Fishing is still perceived as a man’s domain, but there are increasing numbers of girls getting into the sport?
I’d say that the day of fishing being perceived as only a man’s sport has well and truly gone. It’s a fact that most men love their fishing and that more and more females are getting into it. I come across ladies and children all the time who love their fishing - more seem to enjoy it then who don't like it, and if they don't it usually boils down to being sea sick rather than not liking fishing itself.
What’s in your handbag?
I have all the usual suspects in my handbag such as lip-gloss and my wallet
etc, but Ill always carry around some hooks, swivels and trace in my handbag and a rod n reel in my car, for fishing emergencies. That’s normal right? You never know when you will come across a situation to throw a line in the water!
Personally I start to feel land sick if I haven't hit the water or caught a fish in a few days.
What’s your motto?
Paint your nails, gut a fish, give anything a go.
Who: Nicky Sinden
What: Ados Addicted to Fishing
When: Saturday’s, 5pm on Prime Tv.