The Tairua Pauanui Sports Fishing Club recently won the NZ Sports Fishing’s Club of the Year award.
Club manager Cie Robinson-Bates was thrilled with the acknowledgment of the club’s family and community feel, as well as the expansion of its facilities and growth in membership – particularly junior membership numbers that went from 26 to 150 in the past year.
Club on the move
At the end of 2019, TPSFC sold the original clubrooms on Tui Terrace and moved to the modern Tairua Marina Complex at the base of Mt Paku.
The quickly expanding membership base meant the original location was struggling to facilitate the growing numbers.
Their new, larger clubrooms sit proudly on the top floor of the Marina building overlooking Tairua Harbour.
The stunning views and great kitchen menu attract locals and visitors alike. The fortnightly Sunday roast is especially popular with bookings essential to guarantee a spot.
The Marina offers an on-water fuel jetty and rental berths for visiting boats, while the building also hosts a fishing and diving store, boat broker and most recently a gym.
The new clubrooms are used by community groups.
On entering the new clubrooms, the impressive Black Marlin caught by Roy McNabb from the Mananui is on display.
I have memories of this fish, as I took the phone call from the anglers at the Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club asking what weight our scales could hold, as they had a fish of approximately 1000 pounds and were on their way up to Whitianga to weigh it.
Mounting excitement developed, together with some scepticism.
On sighting the fish it was obvious that our scales wouldn’t handle it.
The only alternative was to utilise the local fertiliser shed scales.
The fish was tail-wrapped and a diver had to assist in its retrieval, so unfortunately it was disqualified from being a record catch.
It had been played for seven hours! An impressive piece of history, proudly displayed in the new TPSFC foyer.
The month-long Kilwell Winter Tournament in June was a popular TPSFC event, with great sponsorship and prizes both for fish and Canada Geese, which are becoming quite a pest with ever-increasing numbers.
The Clarke family, who are well known for their hunting prowess, claimed the major prize in this category, winning a beautiful shotgun. Participants appreciated the duration of the event, as it enabled anglers to pick suitable weather conditions. Winter winds and swells during this period often mean various days are written off for being too rough to fish during the tournament.
At the same time, there were some beautifully calm winter fishing days over the month.
Besides the well-supported tournaments, anglers have been very active out on the water during the winter months with some very impressive catches during a traditionally quieter period.
Most notable are some of the junior records achieved by club members.
Aston Howard-Willis, 10, set a smallfry line class club record in January after landing a yellowfin tuna of 15.600kg on 24kg tackle.
Another keen angler, Jack Rogers, set a junior male line class club record with an 18.400kg albacore tuna on 24kg tackle.This fish was only 500grams shy of the New Zealand 24kg junior line class record.
TPSFC was part of the inaugural Tairua Boat Show, which filled a gap following COVID cancellations wreaking havoc on the usual large shows around the country.
This event was well supported with around 11,000 attending the show on August 8-9.
The Club watered and fed many of this crowd and welcomed them to enjoy the great views from the upstairs deck while listening to knowledgeable guest speakers.
Many dealers reported very pleasing interest and sales, while various other local businesses experienced a busy weekend giving them a welcome boost after the lockdown period.