There’s one bloke whose fishing adventures rival those of Rex Hunt and that’s Hamish Ward. Director of Ramsey Bros, Hamish’s trips with clients, suppliers and the agricultural community are the stuff of legend and an integral part of our company’s history.
“I like fishing and during my 23 years or so with the company, I’ve taken out a lot of customers — either my own contacts or word’s got out to others. It’s great to have them come along and get to know them in a relaxed environment,” Hamish says.
And it’s no amateur set-up that Hamish is running — he has his charter licence and A-class fishing licence, plus years of experience which means his expeditions guarantee a good day on the water.
“We’re not just randomly rocking up anywhere, I know what I’m doing and I love nothing more than taking people out. It’s always good value, a great way to break the ice and you can just get to know people when they’re being themselves and I’m not trying to sell them anything.”
Hamish often heads out around Port Neill or Spilsby Island, taking customers from all over SA and sometimes even interstate. Doing between 20 and 30 trips a year, sometimes they’re day trips and other times, an overnighter where the crew will camp by a fire and spend a solid couple of days fishing.
With a whole lot of faith placed in him, there’s one particular trip that stands out like the dog’s proverbial, as Hamish recalls.
“A couple of years back, I took out four Ramsey Bros clients on a day trip out from Port Neill. We went out 30kms into the middle of the gulf and snagged a boat full of snapper and whiting. Spirits were high after a great day, but as we got a couple of ks from the boat ramp, we stopped.
“The gauge doesn’t register and I knew I’d run out of fuel so, a bit embarrassed, I had to contact some local mates to come to our rescue. Everyone took it pretty well and the guys arrived with 20 litres of fuel to get us back to safety. I’m not the best with mechanics so asked them to wait while I tried it out.
“Of course, when I tried to get the engine running, I snapped a flywire on the gear shift lever and couldn’t put the boat into gear. It was going from bad to worse!” Hamish laments.
“There was nothing I could do, so I had to let my mates tow our boat in. And, boy did I cop it. My clients took it well… maybe a bit too well… they’ve taken the piss out of me for it ever since!”
Moral of the story? If you’re invited out on one of Hamish’s legendary fishing trips, give him a little nudge to chuck in a spare tank of fuel before you leave shore!