It was late one afternoon when Kim Stolk, standing on the shore of McCauley’s Beach at Thirroul with a fishing rod in hand, sensed something big was about to happen.
Scanning an eye over the bouncing surf, she suddenly felt a tug on her 10kg line, and there began a mighty battle.
Thirty exhilarating but exhausting minutes later, Kim brought ashore a monster fish that would land her in the record books with the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA). On the end of her line at 5pm on August 26, 2004, was a massive 14.35kg jewfish – the biggest ever recorded from a fishing line in the world.
The achievement continues to impress seasoned fishermen across the world.
“It was amazing. I’m forever proud. I have a passion for game-sport fishing,” she said.
A valued member of the Wollongong Sport Fishing Club, Kim divides her time between fishing and shifts at The Fraternity Club.
“I thoroughly enjoy The Fraternity Club. I love the people and my amazing colleagues,” she said. “They all know about my passion for fishing. It’s something that is a big part of me.
“A few years ago, I spent almost nine hours battling a marlin off the line near the Sea Cliff Bridge. I lost the fish and was devastated. That would’ve been a catch!”
In 2019, Kim started to scale the heights of The Frat, which matched her lively nature and ability to communicate and connect with members and guests.
In a short time, she worked in the bar, excelled in the cash-box area, successfully took a chance on the poker machine floor and grasped the concept of a duty manager.
“It’s been rewarding. I love the friendly faces and staff,” she said.
However, on July 31 of 2020 something even more amazing came along, to her surprise!
“Yep! I had a baby. It was not expected,” she said
Little MacKenzie – born to Kim and her partner Shane – propelled Kim in a new direction.
“It’s been more baby time rather than work and fishing time!” she said.
In the meantime, Kim is on maternity leave and relishing the opportunity to return to The Frat, when ready.
“The club is definitely a second family. From the time of handing in my resume, to meeting with Greg Field (general manager), to starting my first shift, to meeting the crew, everyone was more than welcoming and made you feel at home,” she said.
“I definitely pride myself on my work ethic, focusing on customer service in all areas of the club, especially the gaming floor.
“One of our biggest events for me in recent times was both the Melbourne Cup and New Year’s Eve. We, as staff, got dressed up for both occasions. It was amazing and allowed us to connect with our members and guests.”
Kim is planning to return to The Frat sometime in 2021.