FIRST STEPS: Hailey Paxevanos with her children's fishing book and dad Rob Paxevanos at Hookup .
FIRST STEPS: Hailey Paxevanos with her children's fishing book and dad Rob Paxevanos at Hookup . Matt Taylor GLA040518BTHU

She's a natural: Hailey follows in Dad's fishing footsteps

THEY say behind every great man is a great woman.

Lucky for Rob Paxevanos he has five great women, albeit some of them little women, by his side.

The Fishing Australia television host and wife Marilyn have four daughters - Caitlin, Emily, Hailey and Zoe.

Caitlin studies at university, Emily's in high school, Hailey and Zoe in primary school.

But it's fair to say nine-year-old Hailey is the one Paxevanos child to have caught the fishing bug more than her sisters.

Not only is Hailey more than capable of holding a rod and wetting a line, she's also an accomplished author.

Hailey released Kids Fishing, a fishing guide for kids by kids, as an eight-year-old in 2016.

However, don't be fooled by its title as this fishing book has plenty of great tips for adults as well.

It also ties in perfectly with the Boyne Tannum HookUp's family friendly atmosphere and helps kids become self-sufficient, according to Rob.

"The book is great for events like this because the kids and families who have an interest in fishing turn up and this helps them kick on with it," he said.

"We helped Hailey, but most of the work is hers. We took the photos but she'd write each page.

"I'd say let's do a page on bait fishing and she'd write it.

"The book is about 18 months old now and it's going gangbusters - it's awesome for events like this.

"At this event Hailey is selling her books and sharing the profit with the event. She's also colouring in lures and selling them for a gold coin donation and sharing that."

 

Hailey Paxevanos was six when caught a 63cm flathead without supervision.
Hailey Paxevanos was only six when she caught this 63cm flathead all by herself. Contributed

Hailey decided to write the book after her school friends kept asking her what lures she uses to catch certain fish.

"I wrote a book to help them so they can learn and I also wrote the book to help families to go down to jetties," Hailey said.

"I thought, if I wrote a book then they could use it to help them."

Hailey has had an interest in fishing since before she could stand.

"She used to sneak into my office before she could walk and grab a fishing reel and start winding it," Rob said.

"When she was 18 months, we were filming in Cairns and we took out some kids to raise money for a hospital playground.

"She came down to the jetty with mum while we were filming... I said to them she can actually wind, so we gave her a rod and she caught a fish and wound it in - her first fish was on national telly."

Rob's favourite fishing story involving Hailey was one he wasn't there for.

"I had to go out on a fishing shoot about two or three years ago and she really wanted to come," he said.

"I left at 2pm... I landed down in Sydney and met up with my crew on the New South Wales south coast and by that time she called me with some pretty big news."

Feeling a little disgruntled because Dad didn't take her on his fishing trip, then six-year-old Hailey took herself fishing.

"I made my own lure, put it on a rod and went down to a beach near my house," she said.

That's went she felt a strong tug at her line.

"I went fishing and I was pretty sure I had a flathead because it kept getting snagged - I think it was a flathead trying to tease me," Hailey said.

"As soon as I went to leave I went to go wind it in and thought I was on a really bad snag, but then I lifted the rod up and it started pulling down.

"I wound it in and it was a 63cm flathead. Luckily my mum came down to take a photo (pictured right).

"Mum went down to get me because it was taking way too long to wind it in.

"She wanted to keep it and eat it but I said no because it's a female...once (flathead) are 50cm or above it means it's a female."

Marilyn texted Rob the photo of Hailey beaming with pride at the monster flathead she'd just reeled in by herself.

"She caught that and my crew said maybe she should be with us because I got the message just as we started to go fishing," Rob said.

As far as the future holds, both Rob and Marilyn are determined to keep Hailey grounded and just be a kid.

This is despite Hailey eyeing off her Dad's job in the next 10-15 years.

"In the car on the way up here we were saying he was going to have his show and not going to stop it, and I'd have my own show," she said.

"In Japan and China fishing is very popular - they come down here and I'd show them how to catch our fish here and that's what I'd do on my show."