Peri Stavropoulos fishes off Wangim Walk at Geelong waterfront. (Louisa Jones) 243460_08

One of the anglers behind the Independent’s popular On the Bite column, Peri Stavropoulos, speaks to Luke Voogt about “living and breathing” fishing, despite being allergic to fish.

Tell us about you…

I’m 22-years-old. I was born in Geelong, have spent my whole life here and currently live in Grovedale.

I’m lucky enough to have a full-time management job at Trelly’s Outdoor in Geelong West. In case you can’t already tell, I’m a mad-keen fisherman – pretty much my whole life revolves around fishing.

When I’m not fishing or working, which isn’t very often, I love playing and watching sports like Aussie rules football, cricket, soccer and mixed martial arts, as well as spending quality time with friends and family.

How did you get into fishing?

My best friend and grandfather were the ones that got me into fishing. I purchased my first rod and reel, went straight to the river with my grandfather, and the addiction begun.

The thing I love about fishing is no two days are the same – you never know what’s going to latch onto the line.

I’ve been writing the fishing report for two years now and been full-time at Trellys for nearly five years, and I really enjoy both.

The thing I enjoy most about my job and writing the report is helping people get the maximum out of their time fishing, whether they’re a beginner or a pro.

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing someone that has gone out and had success on the back of advice you have given them in-store, over the phone or from reading the report.

How’s the future looking?

The future for Geelong’s fishing is looking insane – Corio Bay has the potential to be one of the fishing capitals of Port Phillip Bay!

Each year the bay continues to fish better and better, and with the ban of commercial netting and all the new fishing platforms, we should only see it continue to improve.

I’m very excited to see where it goes.

What do you like to do locally?

I love to go to the footy whenever the Cats are playing or any other sporting events.

I also like to have a kick of the footy or go for spontaneous drives with my mates through central Geelong.

How have you coped with COVID-19?

The last 18 months have definitely been challenging for me, both in my personal and work life.

The store had to close a few times due to restrictions and obviously banning fishing a few times isn’t ideal for a fishing and tackle store.

My personal life is based a lot around spending time with my friends getting a feed at a pub or a drink at a bar, so it’s been challenging for us to catch up as we usually would.

What’s something about you that people might not know?

I’m actually allergic to eating fish. I can only eat crustaceans, squid and shark.

It happened about five years ago when I ate a snapper I caught and my body didn’t like it. A bit funny for someone like me who lives and breathes fishing!