As some junior anglers get older and more experienced with fishing, they feel the need to try and catch bigger and faster fish.
For many, the chance never comes along to get out and go game fishing but, for others, it is a natural progression in the search for more fishing excitement. Game fishing is a very exciting area of our sport and one that is surprisingly easy to get into as a junior. Most coastal towns have a sport or game fishing club and most of the members are only too happy to help junior anglers get into this area of our sport.
If you feel that you would like to try game fishing and there is a club in your area, you only have to ring their number and ask about how to join up and if there are any boats looking for a junior angler on their crew.
The International Gamefishing Association of Australia has a very active program to get more juniors into the sport and most clubs are only too happy to invite you down to a club meeting and show you around. There are annual competitions for junior anglers with trophies to be won and even trips overseas to game fishing locations. It’s great that they can see that junior anglers are the future of this sport and it’s also very exciting to get a trip out on a big boat to troll for marlin or tuna, or even fish for sharks.
I’m a member of the Shoalhaven Gamefishing Club, which is based at Greenwell Point, where I live. They have some very good anglers in their club and they fish quite a few tournaments up and down the coast from Batemans Bay to Port Stephens. Over Summer there is a regular competition between the southern NSW game clubs called the Southern Zone, but there are also tournaments at Kiama, Huskisson, Ulladulla and the Shoalhaven Open. All of these tournaments have special junior sections so you are competing only against other kids and they usually have some good prizes or trophies for those lucky enough to catch or tag a good fish.
I fish on a Bertram 28 called The Enforcer with Steve and Scott Sharpe and we normally chase marlin over Summer and tuna in Spring and Autumn. If the marlin or tuna are quiet we normally get some berley and chase sharks. I like the shark fishing because those big tiger sharks look awesome when they cruise up the berley trail. Makos are also great because they jump when hooked and go psycho at the boat. Best of all, though, are the marlin on lures. Sometimes you can troll for hours with nothing and then get a double hook-up on blacks or stripes.
If game fishing sounds interesting to you, I suggest you get out and make inquiries with your local club to see what it’s about and if you can get on a crew. As a junior they don’t normally expect much payment for fuel and you won’t regret getting into this very exciting area of our sport. Who knows, you might even win a trophy or get a club record!
The author with a 124kg mako shark taken on 15kg tackle.Reads: 958