With some dodgy weather lately, there has been hardly any fishing to report on so I thought I would give you a brief run down on the many different angling clubs in our immediate area. This might be something that you’ve been wanting to do for sometime but never knew how to go about joining. Don’t think that these clubs are only for the elite anglers in our area; they cater for all skill levels and will be able to help you improve your skills along the way exponentially.
Warrnambool Offshore and Light Game Fishing Club is the biggest club in our area with members stretching right across Victoria, even interstate. As the name suggests the club members predominately fish in the saltwater for species such as tuna, shark, snapper and even marlin. The club was founded in 1978 by Bruce Everard, after Viv Balmer suggested they try and form a club to increase safety at sea and form friendships along the way. The club is now one of the biggest sporting clubs in the Warrnambool region. The club are known for giving back to the sport of recreational fishing through numerous programs. None are more important than the bluefin tuna tagging program that the majority of their members take part in. This helps monitor where the tuna have migrated to and from, and also whether or not the populations are increasing, measured by how frequently the recaptures are being recorded. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, then you can join via their website www.wolgfc.com and follow the registration process. Not only do they run their own club outings but they run the annual Shipwreck Coast Fishing Classic which brings great excitement to the area. Each year it gives one lucky angler a new boat, motor trailer package just for entering. This is a great club for beginners to learn the ins and outs of saltwater fishing, and a family friendly club that takes a lot of time making sure the junior members have just as much fun as the adults.
Formed in the 1940’s, the Allansford and District Angling Club is situated on the Upper Hopkins River at Jubilee Park. It’s no secret that some of the best estuary anglers are a part of this club, and that is evident in how many shields Allansford holds currently. The club mainly focus on bream and estuary perch, being mostly a group of anglers who prefer bait fishing. The club hold their competitions monthly across the South West, from the Aire River in the east right across to Nelson in the west. Another great thing about this club is that they are very active in protecting and making the Hopkins, and other rivers, better for the future. Another club that is a family friendly option for those who want to get their kids into the greatest past time in my opinion. If you’re wanting more information you can head to their Facebook page and find the information there.
My angling club is the Warrnambool and District Anglers Club, which has been around for many years. Starting way back in the early 1900’s, it has seen some iconic names come through its doors. The club rooms are situated on the corner of Otway Road and Simpson Street and also have a twin jetty set up with a boat shed. This boat shed allows owners to re-build and restore their boats each year with the help of mooring officer Norm Sheppard. An iconic part of the Hopkins River, these boats hold a lot of history and provide a great visual especially on the calm summer mornings. One thing that the club has worked tirelessly on is the conservation of the fish that we target. With the help of members such as Peter Lamb and Rick Hilliam we now see nearly all fish returned safely back into the water with the introduction of a large well and weigh bags that don’t harm the fish while transporting them from our boats. Doing this we hope that each year we see the river become more abundant with bigger fish for all to enjoy. Hit up their Facebook page for more information.
The last club that I wanted to touch on is the Warrnambool Fly Fishers Club who as their name suggests are avid fly anglers. This club is more about honing in on your skills while fly fishing rather than holding competitions. Across the year they hold a number of fly tying nights, club outings to neighbouring waterways and even yearly trips over to Tasmania in search of the big trout that Tassie is known for. Members of the fly club also tie fly’s for the Cast for recovery team which is an organisation that give breast cancer patients the opportunity to forget about their treatment and bills for 2 and a half days in the wilderness free of charge. This is a major feather in the members hat for taking time out of their life and donate flies for these ladies to use. If you would like anymore information on how to join the Warrnambool Fly Fishers club you can contact their president Adrian Jacobs via email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Now this is only a handful of clubs around our area but this is the major clubs. If you want anymore information about angling clubs in general then stop in at the shop or get in touch with the appropriate channels outlined in the above piece.