Rodney’s Bait & Tackle

What do you do when you stumble across an old 30 ft fishing boat listing on its mooring in a Rockingham marina? Well, if you’re Nathan Nisbet and Scott Kociuruba you spend the next 12 months refurbishing the boat and then you cram it into a small bar on Stirling Highway. The thought of moving house and trying to get my couch out the front door scares me, so I’d hate to think how these two managed to fit a boat through the front doors!


Rodney’s Bait n Tackle is tucked away amongst a handful of other businesses on Stirling Highway. The facade is quite unassuming, so much so that you would be forgiven for walking straight past it the first time that you visit. Once you step inside you enter a treasure trove of maps, vintage fishing tackle, artwork and memorabilia. For me, the statement piece is obviously The Maevon, the 30ft refurbished boat that doubles as the venues bar.



Co-owners Nathan and Scott have backgrounds in both the hospitality space as well as the entertainment industry. Their goal when opening this bar was to create an inviting and unpretentious venue that can be enjoyed by all. They’ve nailed this brief thanks to the vibe and atmosphere inside that’s so warm and welcoming that you can’t help but settle in for a few drinks. There’s even an open fireplace towards the rear of the bar and I can imagine no better place to sit back and relax on a cold Winter’s day when the rain is beating down outside.


With both owners musicians themselves, there’s a real emphasis on the local music scene. Every evening the bar plays host to a selection of acoustic entertainment and vinyl-only DJs throughout the week. On Friday’s punters can also try their luck spinning a wheel for the soon-to-be-famous Friday Night Fish Raffle. This commitment to local artists and the community really makes you feel that Rodney’s Bait n Tackle is truly a bar for everyone.


When you squeeze a 30 ft boat into a small bar there are always going to be some trade-offs and one of these is a bar range that is smaller than most. But fear not because they definitely place an emphasis on quality over quantity. Whiskey, beer, wine, cocktails and coffee are all on the menu, and there’s also a selection of rum if you really feel like tapping into your inner pirate. If you need something to soak up the alcohol then you’ll be pleased to hear about the range of locally sourced award winning pies on offer. If you’re after something more substantial there is also a small but well thought out food menu available that includes pizzas, burgers, share plates and tacos. It’s fitting that a bar with an old fishing boat in it features seafood so prominently on the menu.


Rodney’s is a relaxed and inviting neighbourhood hub where locals can chat over a drink and drift away with the historic curios that blanket the walls. Painstakingly collected over a number of years, the bar is completely fit-out with repurposed, restored and salvaged material. Bait and tackle are also on offer for anyone so inspired by the venue that they feel like heading to the coast for a fish. Now, I’m no hardy seafaring fisherman and I’m more likely to catch a cold than any fish, but Rodney’s Bait n Tackle almost got me in the mood to go wet a line.




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