VICTORIA Point fishing entrepreneur Samantha Beckmann has started her 15th year in business on a high, having netted state and national awards in late 2020.
Her business, 2 Bent Rods, started in 2004 and offers fishing classes to young people in the south-east.
In 2020, Ms Beckmann won the Fearless Educator at the Roar Awards, a success she described as the highlight of her year.
The award recognised businesses that worked with children and had a strong sense of community.
The awards took place online, but after Queensland borders reopened, there was a presentation and networking event in Maroochydore in December.
"It was great to finally meet everyone in person and learn about everyone's awesome businesses," Ms Beckmann said.
A week earlier, 2 Bent Rods took out the Small Business Achievement Award at the Queensland Community Awards.
Ms Beckmann said fishing was a great activity for children.
"They learn to engage with and appreciate the environment, whilst learning a life skill," she said.
"Fish don't care about your age, gender, race or your abilities or inhibitions."
2 Bent Rods also made the top three at the Queensland Outdoors Awards for encouraging participation.
Nearly 60,000 people have taken part in 2 Bent Rods programs since 2004.
After taking on more staff to cope with demand over the busy school holiday period, Ms Beckmann said the next focus would be on raising awareness of invasive species in local waterways.
"(In 2021) we will be rolling out and concentrating on pest fishing event management," she said.
"We organise family-friendly pest fishing events, educating participants and the public on the detrimental effects that tilapia and carp have on our waterways.
"This also helps councils to meet their general biosecurity obligations while bringing the community together at their local parks and waterways."
Class activities include yabby pumping, bait netting, knot tying and rod casting.
Classes are held all over the south-east.