This event was described by stalwarts and old timers as a “huge roaring success.”

Some said the best yet !

I was humbled by the genuine passion, dedication, camaraderie, fun, endless voluntary work, and the fishing, which was enjoyed by so many keen anglers who love their sport.  The people there were nice genuine people and certainly not pretentious. Worth mentioning too, is the fact that this form of sport and sustenance fishing that the NZACA aspire to, attracts many people who simply would not participate in hard-out fishing as they grow older. In fact some anglers were quite old but were still doing it and winning, taking out trophies. (The oldest there was 81 years of age.) On the other hand young girls and boys also were catered for, taking many trophies as well. A great healthy family orientated environment who all love fishing.

Some examples were to see a lady in the veterans class who is a member of the Rotorua club take out several trophies  for distance and accuracy casting and catching big fish too. In comparison a  “new – chum” young boy was awarded junior accuracy and distance casting champion and got a fine trophy as well to take home.

The non-political scene during the whole event in Gisborne was a breath of fresh air. Gisborne turned it on with splendid hot weather and many great catches. Gisborne Tatapouri club captain Craig Miller and a companion filleted the whole catch that took them hours to do for all the competitors after weigh in!   Well done and a big thanks to Craig and the team on “Touchwood.”

The hosts – the Gisborne Surfcasters club, affiliated members of the NZACA planned these Nationals to be held in Gisborne for a number of years. President Karla Tardieu and colleagues working with the Gisborne Tatapouri Sports Fishing club, who kindly provided the venue for this annual NZACA  AGM in the Shark bar while the prize giving and splendid dinner was in the main part of the club. We believe this large venue with all the beautiful fish mounts that are on display are the best of any club in New Zealand.

Prize giving night was a night of fun and jokes. A whole table covered with trophies were awarded to so many winners. Every winner during the two hours of prize giving was applauded and given some high fives by officials. Included in the awards was a trophy presented to the immediate past president of the association. This year it was awarded to Brent Rolston for his two years as president.

Something special during the prize giving evening was a  tribute and special thanks to semi-retiring stalwart and secretary Graeme Dawber and his wife.  His many years of dedication, news letters and organising skills actually brought tears to people’s eyes as they all said thank you. Sadly people like Graeme and Ann Dawber are lacking in many organisations today.

It was one of those nights you never forget.

For those who don’t know, this organisation dedicates two days during the Nationals to distance and accuracy casting. From young and old, they all compete, because trophies are there catering for all. This is very important because so many anglers give up their sport as age creeps along. An older man who went to the stage said “this was his life.”

Something else that I thought was very special, was that in the NZACA Nationals, teams are made up between groups of two people. This made the sport of fishing much more fun, rather than a lucky winner taking all. It was “shared” fishing and competing with a mate. Prizes were not about money, but trophies to display for twelve months in their homes.

Sometimes money as prizes can spoil competitions and there are many examples of when money is involved, friendly competition changes and even cheating happens. So with the NZACA, it is about trophies and plenty of them. There is also recognition for clubs whos competitors do well in fishing and casting and a trophy for the overall winning club – these are keenly sort after. Good on you !

For those who may not know, the NZACA is also an officially approved IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) records keeper, for both World Records and New Zealand records along with the NZSFC. They have IGFA approved weigh masters as well.

Trout and eels as well as sea species are included in record keeping.

The NZACA is affiliated to the NZ Recreational Fishing Council and is working more closely with the NZSFC as they wish to work with all organisations of like minded folk.

The Gisborne event venue was packed out. Anglers came from as far as Ninety Mile beach in the north and Wellington in the south. The gathering of Clubs from all over the country meant that people caught up with good friends and laughed the night away. Fishing stories true and not so true were fun to tell and listen to. The association would like to see more South island clubs become members long term.

Fishing area boundaries were large from Opotiki, around Cape Runaway,  Matakaoa, right round East Cape and down through Gisborne to the Wairoa river mouth.

A fine booklet was provided for these Nationals. In it were some words worth highlighting.


Do you belong to a Fishing club?

If not – why not”

Fishing clubs provide a place of sharing and learning, a place of camaraderie. Learn from others experiences and find great fishing places to fish.

Is your club part of a National Organisation?

IF not – why not?

National Parent Bodies such as the NZACA enable fishers to do things that as an individual or as clubs they cannot do – such as Nationals like these ones.

Also showing a UNITED FRONT in maintaining fishing rights, standing up to the commercial pressures and speaking with a united voice with government departments.

If you want to know more – contact :

NZACA Secretary Graeme Dawber, P.O.Box 12042, Rotorua, 3045.


So to summarise it was a really great event.  A gathering of people actively enjoying their sport of fishing off beaches and from boats. It was held in sunny Gisborne and thrilled so many happy anglers.  Ladies, men, boys and girls – the people who have done it for years  and the ones of the future.

Alain Jorion



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