It’s a sunny autumn day on the Gold Coast and we are out with Paul Burt on his Surtees 700 Game Fisher exploring his local waterways and casting a few lines along the way. Back on dry land later, we chatted to Paul about fishing, boating, some of his favourite memories from six seasons of his popular 7Mate show Step Outside with Paul Burt and coming on board as NM Insurance’s inaugural Ambassador.


Many of our readers will be familiar with Step Outside with Paul Burt, but for those who have never watched it, how would you describe the show?

We’re a guide for people interested in all things outdoor exploration and fishing related, whether that’s casting a line or making memories with your family and friends that will last a lifetime. It’s a journey we take people on through nature’s playground. We basically dive headfirst into exploring some of the most amazing outdoor destinations and fishing spots around Australia, including tranquil lakes, rivers, creeks, dams, and of course the wild oceans that surround us.

Talk us through a typical segment on your show.

We are there to help our viewers. Whether they’re a novice just starting out fishing or someone who has a question about reversing a trailer down a boat ramp but might be too embarrassed to ask, we want to make their lives easier and their time outdoors more enjoyable. The show is also about sharing advice to help you embrace what you have around you in your local area. We will feature the three bread and butter species, namely bream, whiting and flathead, that can be found all around Australia. So, someone watching the show could turn around and say ‘well hang on, the rig that bloke on TV is using to catch his whiting, I’ve never used before, but we do get whiting here so maybe I should try it’. Whether your local area is Perth, Darwin, Port Lincoln or anywhere else, we like to share tips that can be used in your own backyard.

There’s also lots of food on the show, as I’m a big foodie and love cooking. That might mean grabbing the cast iron camp oven and showing you how to cook up some delicacies when you’re out bush, like a simple curry or easy fish dish. Or it may go all the way through to filming in the kitchen of a five-star restaurant and having the chef share their tips to create dishes you’d normally pay good money for when you’re out.

Step Outside with Paul Burt is currently in its sixth season, and you also recently celebrated your 200th episode. What does that milestone mean to you and how has the show evolved?

Having the help and support of my family is massively important. Elissa, who is our Executive Producer, Show Content Director and looks after all our social media, is also my very understanding wife. We always chit chat about the plan ahead and what shoots to create that our viewers can relate to. We are very humble about it, but reaching our 200th episode is a great thing. It’s a lot of episodes! I remember when we got to our 100th show thinking ‘oh my god we’re at 100’. What it comes down to for me is we’re consistently sharing a lot of great information for people to grab hold of and punching out 39 episodes a year on 7Mate around Australia. There are other programs out there who have 13 or 26 episodes a season, but we’ve found people want to keep learning.

We’re providing that information and entertainment for our viewers, and we also try to keep the show as current and relatable as we can for everybody. That might mean that sometimes we’ve only just filmed a segment the week before we put it on national TV. We do watch the weather very closely when planning production of the show so it’s fortunate that the weather is also part of my job! For example, I know in four days we’re going to have a break in the weather, and we will be out catching banana prawns, which are running right now. But I’m not going tomorrow or the next day as there will be a strong southeasterly wind blowing.

Speaking of weather, many of our readers, especially those based in Queensland, will also know you as a weather presenter for 7News.

Doing the weather for Channel 7 is a passion of mine and I’ve been doing it for a very long time. It’s what led to the creation of our show as well. People would always come up to me when I was out doing a weather cross and say things like ‘Burty I’ve got this rig but I’m not sure how to tie this lure on it’ or ‘Burty I’ve got this tent can you recommend the best camp set up’. It sparked the idea to create a show sharing the type of information people want to know, and now here we are.

What do you love about boating and fishing on the Gold Coast?

We live very close to the Gold Coast Broadwater and I’m very fortunate to have lived in this area my whole life. So, we wanted to showcase some of this area in the magazine because there’s so much to do on the water here, in every aspect of fishing and boating. You’ve got the Coral Sea to the north, and the Tasman Sea out to the south, which brings an abundance of both warm water and cool water fish and a flurry of different species pretty much every month of the year.

In your opinion, what makes a great boat?

To me, the boat that doesn’t break your bank balance is a good boat. If you’ve got the money, then a 50ft yacht could suit you well. But for me it’s just about being out on the water. Even with a 3.7m tinny you can target some amazing fish and access narrow waters that you can’t get to in a big boat. You can still pull up on a bank and enjoy million-dollar views in a tinny. It’s about stepping outside and making the most of those experiences, without putting yourself out too much financially.

Our main cover line for this issue of Nautilus Marine Magazine is ‘living the dream’. What does that phrase mean to you and what role does the outdoors play in your life?

Being out on the water, or just out in nature really, clears my head. I grew up around this area, so I usually know where fish are going to be at different times of the year, which is why it’s rare that we go out around the Gold Coast and don’t catch anything although trust me it certainly does happen! However, even if you don’t catch a fish, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just a matter of stepping out there, breathing that fresh air, unwinding, and enjoying the outdoors.


For boating news, features and interviews, subscribe to Nautilus Marine Magazine here.