Tackle Shop Talk – Matt Pullella, Trailblazers Albany

Restrictions are easing, winter is settling in and our tackle stores are open and waiting for you to pay them a visit. Tackle stores play an essential role in our fishing industry and the knowledge of the owner and local staff is invaluable. Recently we’ve been chatting with various tackle store owners across the state to get to know them better on a personal level and help promote their business in order to reboot the recfishing industry post-COVID-19. This week we spoke to Matt from Trailblazers in Albany.

RFW: How and when did you get involved with your tackle store?

MP: I used to shop at Trailblazers a lot in my teenage years. One day, about five years ago, I asked if they had any work going. Two weeks later Paul Lawson (the owner) called me and the rest is history. 

RFW: What do you enjoy about working in the business? 

MP: Like any fishing nut, I love playing with new gear and sharing crazy stories with customers.  

RFW: What makes your customers keep coming back for more

MP: We have a very loyal customer base here at Trailblazers. I think the main thing that keeps people coming back is our massive range of stock, good honest advice and local knowledge. 

RFW: What’s a hot tackle item in your store at the moment?

MP: Without a doubt electric reels are probably the hottest fishing item we have been selling over the last few weeks. We can’t keep enough on the shelf!  

RFW: What must every good fisher’s tackle box include and why?

MP: Every good fishers tackle box must include a good pair of split ring pliers because if you’ve ever tried to open a split ring with your fingernails you’ll know where I’m coming from!  

RFW: What was the fish or fishing experience that got you hooked on fishing?

MP: My dad took me squidding off one of rock walls down here. Second cast in he got a nice squid that then inked him directly in the face! Best day ever and I was hooked from then on!  

RFW: If you were Fisheries Minister for a day and you could change one thing, what would it be?

MP: If I was the Fisheries Minister for the day, I’d be doing everything I could to get more fisheries officers into remote Western Australia. We currently only have three fisheries officers in the Great Southern and only two spend most of their time in the field. In my opinion that is nowhere near enough along this remote section of coast.  

RFW: What’s your favourite fishing destination in WA and why?

MP: My own backyard! I truly think we are spoilt down here on the south coast. Our fishery is so versatile and has something to offer in all weather conditions.