Club Rules



Statement of Purpose Our Fishing Rules have evolved internationally so that, in their observance every fish should have a sporting chance.  Captures in which the fish has not fought, or in which the fish has not had the chance to fight, on the gaff rope or at the boat, are not caught within the intent of our rules and do not reflect credit on the fish or the angler.  Only fish caught within the Whangarei Deep Sea Anglers’ Club and I.G.F.A. Angling Rules and within the intent of these rules will be recognised.

All anglers must be a financial full or day member of the Whangarei Deep Sea Anglers’ Club prior to catch to be eligible for trophies.  A Day member is not eligible for tag plaques and is only eligible for limited trophies.

  1. FISHING AREA: Within 200 miles of the two main islands of New Zealand.
  2. All fishing tackle must be in accordance with the International Game Fishing Association fishing rules. The use of Braid, fused gel-spun polyethylene (GSP) Line and other similar line will not be permitted for any Club contests, awards, trophies or records until such time as this line can be consistently and reliably IGFA compliant, a) The Club recognises all species of fish caught in South Pacific waters for which I.G.F.A. maintains line class records, plus any other species that the committee decides to recognise at any time.
  3. The season ends on the 30th June each year and the new season starts on the next day, the 1st July.
  4. A single fish may only count for one Club i.e., a fish weighed for the Whangarei Deep Sea Anglers Club may not be counted for any other Club. Similarly, if a fish is weighed or tagged during a contest run by another Club then that fish does not count for the Whangarei Deep Sea Anglers Club.
  5. Captures in which the fish has not fought or has not had a chance to fight do not reflect credit on the fisherman, and only the angler can properly evaluate the degree of achievement in establishing the record.

Definition of When a Fish is Caught:
a) In the event of a fish being taken on board the leader, if used, must be in hand before it is gaffed. The catch will be deemed complete when the fish is weighed.  Once a fish is gaffed it cannot be tagged and released.
b) In the event of a fish being tagged for releasing the leader, if used, must be in hand when the tag is inserted into the fish. The catch is deemed complete when the tag is inserted.  The leader can then be intentionally cut or the hooks removed.
c) In the event of a fish being released without tagging the fish is deemed caught and released when the leader is in hand and the leader is intentionally cut or the hook is removed.
d) If a fish escapes before gaffing, tagging or deliberately releasing, the fish is considered a free swimming fish and will not be considered as a catch.
e) A fish that has been tagged and the leader in hand, still uncut and attached to the fish, may be gaffed and weighed if the angler considers that it is unlikely to survive or for any other reason.  The tag must remain in the fish until it is weighed and then removed and returned to the tag card.

    a) Blue, Black and Striped Marlin must exceed 75kg when caught on 15-24-37-60kg line. When caught on 10kg line or less, they must exceed the breaking strain of the line used.
    b) All Broadbill and Game Sharks (Mako, Blue, Hammerhead, Thresher, Bronze Whaler, Tiger, Porbeagle) must exceed 70kg when caught on 15-24-37-60kg line. When caught on 10kg line or less they must exceed the breaking strain of the line.
    c) Yellowtail must exceed the breaking strain of the line used. They must also exceed 75cm in length from the nose to the vee of the tail in a straight line. (MFish regulation)
    d) Tuna must exceed 15kg when caught on 15-24-37-60kg line. When caught on 10kg line or less, they must exceed the breaking strain of the line used.
    e) Shortbilled Spearfish, Albacore, Wahoo, Sailfish and Tope must exceed 10kg when caught on 15kg line and above, or when caught on 10kg line or less must exceed the breaking strain of the line used. Mahi Mahi must exceed 8kg when caught on 8kg line and above, or when caught on less than 8kg line must exceed the breaking strain of the line used.   Snapper maximum line weight is 15kg with a minimum weight of 5kg.
    f) Kahawai, Trevally and Skipjack Tuna have a maximum line weight of 15kg with no minimum catch weights. Hapuku and Bass have a maximum line weight of 37kg with a minimum weight of 10kg. (MFish size restrictions are applicable).  Records for Hapuku and Bass will be maintained for line classes 10 to 37kg.
    g) There are no minimum weights of any species, except Marlin, for small fry anglers as long as MFish regulations are adhered to.  The minimum weight for landed Sharks for Junior anglers is 40kg.
    h) Any new species for the Club recognised by the N.Z.S.F.C. and I.G.F.A. will be accepted.
    i) In all instances the fishing laws of New Zealand apply. j) The Whangarei Deep Sea Anglers Club reserves the right to amend these specific rules for contests e.g., “fun” winter tournaments.
    a) Will be issued (on request) for all recordable weighed fish qualifying under our rules 5 a) through to 5 e) inclusive. b) All tagged Billfish and tagged Gamefish of other species that exceed minimum legal size (as in Yellowtail) or recommended minimum size (as in 10kg for Sharks) will qualify for flashes and certificates.
    a) A silver pin will be presented to the Angler who catches the first gamefish of each species in accordance with the minimum weights. As the season progresses each heavier fish of each species earns a silver pin except fish species in Rule 5 f). b) If the first gamefish is tagged as per Rule 6 b) a silver pin is awarded. c) No angler in any one day may be awarded more than one pin for any one species.
  4. FIRST & HEAVIEST FISH OF THE MONTH: Club Rule’s minimum weights will apply to weighed fish. The tagging and releasing of fish will only apply to marlin.
  5. FISH ELIGIBLE FOR TROPHIES: Unless otherwise specified by Donor are the same as in Rule 5. a) Lynelle Saul Trophy – Snapper maximum line weight is 15kg with a minimum weight of 5kg. To qualify for this trophy, Snapper must equal or exceed the line weight used.
  6. FOR A NATIONAL RECORD: A silver pin with a ruby eye will be presented.
  7. a) New Zealand Record Claims: (A $30 fee is charged by the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council)
    b) To qualify for New Zealand record claims, all I.G.F.A. fishing rules must be complied with at the time of the catch.
    c) To qualify for New Zealand records, all claims must be in the hands of the N.Z.S.F.C. Records Officer within sixty (60) days of the catch.
    d) A sample of the line used must accompany the claim. The entire double line, plus at least 15.24 metres is the minimum amount required for line testing.
    e) The following photographs are required to accompany the claim:
    i. The full length of the fish, the rod & reel used to make the catch. ii. The angler photographed with the fish. iii. In the event of a Big Eye Tuna claim, a photo must also be submitted of the liver of the fish. iv. A photo of the fish lying on its side with a tape or rule laying alongside the fish. f) For $30 all anglers are eligible to claim New Zealand Records providing the fish is caught within I.G.F.A. Rules. Non-members are required to pay $50 to the N.Z.S.F.C. to process the claim.
  8. FOR A WORLD RECORD: The pin will be gold. Should an angler catch two World Records in one day, a gold pin with a diamond eye will be presented.
  9. COURTESY WEIGHS: For W.D.S.A.C. members will count for the Marlin tally of the season and all trophies unless otherwise specified by the Donor. a) All member clubs are required to courtesy weigh fish for anglers of affiliated clubs within the recognised hours of the weigh stations operation of the member club. A weigh sheet is to be presented to the angler to recognise the catch.  Clubs may have a charge for this courtesy.
  10. TAGGED FISH: See Rule 4 Definition of When a Fish is Caught. All tagged fish must be tagged on 60kg line or less to count for all eligible trophies and in Club tallies for the year.  Hook-up and Release times must be supplied with the tag cards.  (Fill out a weigh sheet for each tag card). All tagged fish shall be in the Gamefish Tagging Program, these are:  “ALL BILLFISH, MAKO & BLUE SHARKS, YELLOWFIN TUNA and YELLOWTAIL.” a) The Gamefish Tagging Program recommends that only fish over 10 kg are tagged with the current gamefish tags. b) 2.44 metres is the maximum overall length of Tag Poles (the same size as gaffs) c) The Pole must be kept in hand at all times. d) The Gamefish Tagging Program recommends that fish should be alongside the boat and under control so the tag can be placed correctly. e) When a fish is tagged, it is not to be removed from the water before it is let go, with the exception of yellowtail. f) The Gamefish Tagging Program recommends that fish that are hooked in the mouth or lip are selected for tagging and not fish that are totally played out and not likely to survive. g) The Gamefish Tagging Program recommends that the tag should be placed high on the back, about half way along and angled back at 45o so that it will stream with the flow of water when swimming.  (see diagram)
  11. RELEASED FISH: Released fish without tagging: “that a fish is deemed released when the leader is in hand and the trace is either cut intentionally or the hook removed.”  N.Z.S.F.C. policy “that the releasing of fish without tagging only applies to those species that aren’t recommended species in the gamefish tagging program.”
  12. IKI SPIKING: Only a single wound will be accepted for a Club fish.
  13. BLEEDING: ONLY allowed for club fish, not in TOURNAMENTS, or any club contest. a) Bleeding is only allowed if the club sanctioned prescribed method of bleeding is followed:             b) Place the gaff in the Tuna’s head to prevent damage to the meat. c) Cut to the bone just forward of the caudal fin, disconnecting the muscles and tendons that control the tail. Do the same to the other side of the tail. This inhibits the fish’s ability to flop around. d) Lift the pectoral fin and locate the lateral line close to its base. Using a short, thick bladed knife, make a stab wound about two inches deep, piercing the major blood vessels of the lateral line.
  14. OTHER EQUIPMENT: a) Fighting chairs may not have any mechanically propelled devices which aid the angler in fighting a fish. b) Gimbals must be free swinging, which includes gimbals that swing in a vertical plane only. Any gimbal that allows the angler to reduce strain or to rest while fighting the fish is prohibited. c) Gaffs and nets used to boat or land a fish must not exceed 8 feet (2.44 metres) in overall length. In using a flying or detachable gaff the rope may not exceed 30 feet (9.14 metres). (When fishing from a bridge, pier or other high platform or structure, this length limitation does not apply). d) Entangling devices, either with or without a hook, are prohibited and may not be used for any purpose including baiting, hooking, fighting or landing the fish. e) Outriggers, downriggers, spreader bars and kites are permitted to be used provided that the actual fishing line is attached to the snap or other release device, either directly or with some other material. The leader or double line may not be connected to the release mechanism either directly or with the use of a connecting device.  Spreader bars are also acceptable when used strictly as a teaser. f) Daisy chains, birds, floats and similar devices may only be used if they do not unfairly hamper or inhibit the normal swimming or fighting ability of the fish, thereby giving the angler or crew an unfair advantage in fighting, landing or boating the fish. g) A safety line may be attached to the rod provided that it does not in any way assist the angler in fighting the fish.
  15. Courtesy Weigh Catch Forms and Tag Cards must be received by the Weighmaster or Secretary within 14 days.
  16. In the case of a tie for a trophy awarded for the number of fish caught, where tagged fish are not included, weights will be taken into consideration when awarding the trophy.
  17. a) In the case of a tie for a trophy awarded for the number of fish caught where tagged fish are included, weights will not be considered and the trophy shared.
  18. The Anglers, Skipper and Crew must assist the weighmaster in the measurement of the gear used and the weighing of the fish, with a completed catch sheet presented with the fish before weighing. All Marlin bills must be taped or tied before being weighed and the weigh station has the right to remove the taping/tie.
  19. Fish transferred to another boat at sea or brought over land – full hooks, trace, and double plus 16 metres of line in one piece must accompany the fish when weighing, or the entire tackle used, in the case of a record claim.
  20. Any application for any most meritorious trophy must be in the hands of the secretary no later than the first week of July.
  21. The Committee shall have the right to alter, delete or add to any of the rules.