Quarterly Private Study Group Report (May Madness)

These reports were compiled as a service to our study group community by one of our students Steve Newby. Steve has done all our courses and has become an amazing angler in his own right. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful group of people participating in our courses. The support they give each other to become better anglers is a pleasure to be a part of and one of the most enjoyable aspect of our fishing courses.

Click the tabs below to meet some of our students and for insights into what happens in our Ryan Moody Fishing private study groups.


For any of the group anglers successfully targeting these fish, there’s a mutual understanding of just how EPIC these highly under-rated species are. How it remains the group with the smallest member base beggar’s belief. I often wonder that if people knew just how hard they fight and how great they are on the plate, everyone would be jumping on board.

I myself was fortunate enough to tangle with some absolute beasts on a recent trip to Rockhampton, stretching the measuring tape well over the 140cm mark! To be able to drive from Brisbane without having fished that particular area of the system before, knowing EXACTLY where I need to be and when before I even launch the boat, is a testament to the information contained within the course.

I absolutely love targeting this species on a regular basis and the fishery in Brisbane is equally outstanding in comparison to the net free zone in Rockhampton, with captures of 140cm+ fish not uncommon if you know where to fish.

One of the members making the most headway in recent times would be Seth Wright. Seth had sought advice earlier in the year to try and hone some of his techniques and Ryan was on hand to impart his expert advice. Within a short few months, Seth found himself engaged in an epic session of over 10 fish using a range of techniques taught within the course. Again, among the broader fishing community, everyone would be led to believe that these fish can only be taken using live baits or soft vibes, but Seth had another trick up his sleeve!

Seth shares his technique within the private study group. Ryan had such an enjoyable time chasing these fish in Rockhampton himself and has decided to take a massive $200 off the entry into the course in the upcoming sale! These fish can be successfully targeted from as far south as the Logan and Brisbane rivers in Qld, all the way through the Northern Territory, across to Western Australia and really are one of the ultimate inshore sportfish.

Seth Wright - Thready Tactician

Seth Wright – Thready Tactician

The months of February through to April sees an influx of eager group members plying their trade and sharing their successes. Barra are right at the top of the list for all and as the anticipation prior to the opening of the season for QLD members slowly builds, members ready themselves to put their 3 months of closed season planning into practice.

We are fortunate enough to be continually reminded and taunted by our Northern counterparts, who enjoy the luxury of a more open season all year round, of just what we’ve been missing out on. But for most members, it merely whets the appetite and encourages the Eastern states preparedness.

For those without an insight into the groups, every post can be likened to adding a coin to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The knowledge base continually evolves, and you can always be assured that no matter what you bring to the table, the opportunity to learn and develop is immense.

Buried within the pot of gold, are always the hidden gems. One of the standout members of recent months is Chris Ballard. Chris is a Mackay based angler and prior to the course, I had known Mackay to be a somewhat difficult area to target Barra. It just goes to show that you can’t always buy in to the perception of what appears to be “popular” opinion among the broader fishing community and also a HUGE credit to Ryan and the platform he has created within the private study groups.

Not only has Chris been successful in many of Ryan’s more generic techniques, he has gained enough confidence to start experimenting further with lure presentations. The end result, Chris has found himself completely in a league of his own chasing topwater Barra! I’m sure we’ve all seen the videos circulating social media and understand the challenge it presents, but day or night, Chris has it dialled in and has openly shared his ideas and results within the private group.

This is what you can come to expect once a member of any of Ryan’s private study groups and as per usual, members like Chris are always on hand to assist, encourage and allow other members to grow, taking their own fishing to that next level.

Chris Ballard- Topwater Barra Tamer

Chris Ballard- Topwater Barra Tamer

The goal of Sounder Skills 2 is simple. Help you put more fish in the boat in less time. Like Barra Basics, the inventory of information within the private group is another pot of gold and from complete novices, right through to seasoned sounder users, SS2 has something for everybody. While the group isn’t so much “fishing” focussed, a lot of technical information can be found and puts you in charge of your own fishing destiny!

SS2 allows YOU to be the guide among your family and friends and puts you in the box seat to finding new ground and fishing untouched waters. Understanding your fish finding equipment is the master key to unlocking all the doors to any and all species, so if you’re really serious about taking your fishing to the next level, then this is the must have course in the RMF stable.

Inshore, offshore, anywhere, it’s all there and considering how it affordable it is, all I can say is just do it. The knowledge base of technical advice is there to set you on your way to catching more fish, so if you’ve been on the fence, dive in and be assured that Ryan and the other knowledgeable members are there to assist you in any and every way possible.

A standout member among the group is Keir Gillam. Keir has absolutely stretched and tested the limits of his gear and is quickly becoming somewhat of a deep-water expert in the waters off Tasmania. It’s not often that the average angler will venture to the depths that Keir does, but his progression and willingness to share his information is second to none. If that’s your cup of tea, SS2 is the place to take a sip and Keir’s valuable insights are assured to fast-track your own deeper-water success.

For those who join before the end of May have a chance to win $4000 worth of Garmin equipment so your membership might pay you back tenfold!

Keir Gillam- Bluefin Tuna On Fly!

This private study group can quite easily be titled “How to successfully draw blood from a stone” and could be considered one of the more strategic groups. Finding and discovering Wonky Holes on a regular basis presents a real challenge, let alone finding the ones which are untouched.

But like anything that requires a precise, strategic plan and a considerable amount of hard work, the rewards at the end are huge. Members are regularly on the hunt for new ground and the ones who contribute the most time and willing to share their insights are the ones who receive the most feedback and success. Everyone appreciates a valuable contribution and getting involved in the private group discussions is a sure-fire way to begin finding these locations regularly.

Recent discussions have centred around asking for feedback on specific maps people have presented to the group, and newer members are really starting to home in on search areas. Like always though, some of the more seasoned members are on hand to share their results and Nathan Porter has it well and truly dialled in.

I think the thing with Nathans recent post that stood out was that I could relate it to my own experiences with my old man. Up until joining the RMF family, my old man had taught me everything I knew about fishing from as soon as I could walk.

Nathan treated his old man to a wonky trip and appears the tables have turned! Nathan converted his Dad into a Wonky Hole believer, producing some cracking fish that hit the deck. To share that with his old man and show him a few new tricks is really a humbling experience that can’t be beaten, or compared to any other fishing experience. I dare say his Dad will be putting his hand up to decky on a few more trips, much like my old man with the Threadies and Barra.

Nathan Porter- Old Man Successfully Converted

I envy very few, but the members who get to target these fish on a regular basis would come very close! On my recent trips to Rockhampton, I was fortunate enough to tangle with a few of these exceptionally tasty Lutjanids and gain a small insight into just what these fish are about.

Being a more southern student based in Brisbane, my own immediate goal within the group has been to apply the techniques within the course to Snapper and the next 6 months for me presents an exciting new challenge. Of course, like many of the other contributors to the private study groups, I’ll endeavour to share my insights into how it can be applied to other species, adding further value to an already invaluable course.

But back to the Fingermark. This study group can be a little cagey considering how prized the catch is and between this group and Wonky Holes, there’s a well-respected and mutual understanding that anything that DOES get shared between members, is merely a bonus.

There are the hidden gems presented with their elements of mystery, but as with all the courses in the RMF stable, you’re provided the tools to pioneering your own path to success, regardless of outside assistance. One such member that has landed on his feet almost immediately is Rock Elford.

Rock joined recently and his first post was impressive to say the least! “A couple of days after finishing the course, go to a spot I’ve been driving over for the last 10 years. Finally pull up and put a few things into practice, oh my god. What a nice surprise!” No prizes for guessing just what that surprise was, 2 absolute belter Fingermark!!

To rub salt into my slightly envious wounds, Rock backed it up recently with another bag of some of the oceans finest tasting fish using the knowledge and insights he’s gained from his membership in the courses. This is only one of the recent success stories and the groups are filled with many others like them, being inside the private study groups really does have to be seen to be believed.

Anglers of all abilities are smashing their fishing goals and to be a part of it is a real privilege.

Rock Elford- Immediate Fingermark Success


You really can’t go wrong with any course you choose to participate in, everyone who joins is always welcomed and given all the tools to creating their own fishing success, not only in Australia but the world over.

You may never hear or see of the more successful members, but this is your insight into what you can expect when becoming a member. The groups are filled with some of arguably Australia’s most accomplished fisho’s and because they don’t come with any flashy social media presence or fanfare, doesn’t mean these high-class anglers don’t exist! They well and truly exist inside each and every one of Ryan’s private study groups.

Being a part of it all and rubbing shoulders with the best is only a membership away and there’s not a single member yet who can say that they are disappointed. Everyone learns, everyone shares, take the plunge and get involved.


Learn more about our Fish Smarter courses here.

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