The Tuna Club of Tasmania Inc.
About Our Club

Tuna Club of Tasmania inc History


The Tuna Club was born as a result of a meeting held in Hobart on the 17th September 1960 , by a group of persons interested in forming a Game Fishing Club .

At that meeting a Sub – Committee was formed , charged with the task of drafting a Constitution , which could be tabled at a later meeting .

The Sub – Committee met on the 24th September 1960 and drew up a recommended form of Constitution .

On the 6th October 1960 , at Wrest Point Hotel , the Inaugural Meeting was held attended by about 35 persons . Mr H . H . Smart chaired the meeting , and the Constitution was adopted by those assembled .

The Club was born!

Elections were held immediately , with Mr J . E . Stanton being elected the Clubs first President .
Mr T . Chopping as the Vice President , Mr C . W . Reardon as the first Secretary and Mr L . A . Phillips as the first Treasurer .
At that meeting the President stated that “ The Tuna Club of Tasmania would soon become one of the most successful and best Game Fishing Clubs in the Southern Hemisphere “ . The Club grew slowly , establishing a firm membership base , and a growing reputation around the State , and elsewhere , as a Club of fine anglers . Two World Records were granted within the first two years , to women anglers . One of those Records , by Mrs Vanda Chopping for 70.76 kg Southern Bluefin Tuna on 37 kg line on the 6th May 1963 , still stands as an Australian Record . The Club established many Weigh Stations around the State , to cater for the growing interest in Game Fishing . From the very beginning , the Club has had a large core group of members based in the Derwent Valley . The Club was accepted as an affiliate of the Game Fishing Association of Australia’s Tasmanian body (The Tasmanian Game Fishing Association) in 1963 , thus allowing Tuna Club members to claim Australian and World Records for Game Fish species . Members of the Club claim more Records than any other Club in Tasmania , showing the keen interest in fishing for bigger fish on lighter line classes .

The Club established a permanent Weigh Station at Pirates Bay , which is still used today , largely due to the efforts of Mr Tom Jenkins , who it is reported single handily built the premises . In 1985 the Club purchased a boat shed located alongside the original boat ramp as a Club Room for members to gather in relative comfort from the winter rains and cold . In 1992 the Committee began work to draw plans for a new building incorporating the existing Weigh Station into a Club Room . With approval from all bodies and the permission of Mrs Denise Willey , whose existing boat shed sat on the site required for the new building , work began to move Mrs Willey’s boat shed to a new site and preparations were made for the foundations of the new building . The new building was opened by the Minister of Fisheries , the Hon John Cleary , during the Australian Bluefin Tuna Contest in April 1994 .
In recent years , improvements to the Rooms have been made , and a new dual width boat ramp was laid . The first recorded Tagging of fish was arranged through CSIRO in 1969 , when a CSIRO Officer showed a party of anglers on a charter boat how to tag a fish . Tagging is slowly gaining more acceptance as a means of preserving the species for future generations .The Club conducts the longest running Competition held in Australia , the first Australian Bluefin Tuna Contest was held in 1966 , and has been held every two years since . The Contest originally fitted in with all Australian Game Fishing Contest , held in Sydney every years odd numbered . The Contest has attracted interest from far and wide , with two American journalists writing an article for a famed American journal , and also in the Tasmanian magazine 40 degrees south predecessor Leatherwood . The Contest regularly attracts entries from all over Tasmania and from Victoria , in the early years anglers from South Australia – Mr Tom Bell , Mr Ernie Palmer and Mr Clive Whitrow fished regularly , as did Mr & Mrs Bob & Dolly Dyer , Dolly still holds a few Club and Australian Records from those heady days .The Club has a long and proud history as Tasmania’s Premier Game Fishing Club . The Club’s strength lies in its strong membership base , their loyalty to the Club and their faith in the Club’s administration . The Club is there for its members , so enjoy it to the fullest .


Reproduced with the kind permission of Mr C. van den Hoff , Mr D . Suttil & Mr M . Fitzpatrick .

P O Box 507, Sandy Bay - Tasmania (TAS) Australia
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