Fishing club banter

Waterline will be covering a large number of fishing and angling clubs in the Bay of Plenty, but also stretching its line down East Coast to see what’s outside the region. We will be reporting prices, competitions and what every club is about.

This first chapter is an overview of what fishing and angling clubs are about in general.


Clubs throughout the country cater for different tastes and styles of fishing for an array of anglers.

Just about every seaside and waterside town in New Zealand has a fishing club; and many people young and old congregate from afar to share victories and tribulations on the water. Big catches, big bust offs, tall tales and the cackle of laughter usually echo from these clubs most weekends.

Being involved with clubs keeps you more informed with what’s happening on the water, not only from club newsletters but also from other anglers.

Tournaments are held by most clubs throughout the year, with a large category of species covered. I’ve heard of everything from marlin to paddle crabs being weighed in; it’s great for the family and a great way to top up the gear supply, if you win.

Nearly 60 clubs across New Zealand are affiliated with New Zealand Sports Fishing Council and many are affiliated with the International Game Fishing Association. This means fish weighed in are eligible for national and international records.

During tournaments, many people weigh in fish they usually wouldn’t – at times being well worth their while.

I know this first-hand from weighing in a kahawai for this specific section in a competition. I not only won the section, but also got a club and national record for all line weight for the season.

Prior to this competition, I wouldn’t have weighed it in, but I’m glad I did now.

Networking with likeminded people is also an advantage of being in a club and can sometimes lead to awesome trips you may not usually do – it could be jigging, game fishing, or even a trip out wide you usually wouldn’t do.  

Many clubs are also family-orientated and involve competitions with family prices and children’s sections. The young ones learn not only to fish, but get involved with the environment and fishing community.

There are clubs from the Far North all the way down to Invercargill giving anglers a choice of where they would like to be involved, via many different types including land-based, game and diving.

The local fishing club can be a lot more than where you have a beer and tell a few yarns – so get involved.


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