Our Vision: To be a leader on recreational fishing issues and the development and protection of the sport of fishing in New Zealand
The Bay of Islands Swordfish Club is the oldest game fishing club in New Zealand with a history dating back to 1910. The Club was first registered as an Incorporated Society in 1918 as the Bay of Islands Kingfish Club. In 1924, members of the Kingfish Club decided that the name kingfish did not demonstrate to the wider community the true size of fish that were being caught in the Bay of Islands and moved a motion to change the name to The Bay of Islands Swordfish and Mako Shark Club. The Kingfish Club was deregistered and the club continued on without being registered for some years. Then in 1952, the Club name was shortened to The Bay of Islands Swordfish Club Inc and that is how it stands today. Game fishing by rod and reel was first started by a few enthusiasts at the turn of the century. In February 1915, Major A.D. Campbell caught the first ever marlin on rod and reel in the Bay of Islands. It was during the mid-1920s that Zane Grey, the American writer and fisherman came to the Bay of Islands and the Bay became famous as a game fishing destination through his book ‘Tales of the Angler’s El Dorado’. Read more about our fishing history – 100 years of catching marlin in the Bay of Islands.
The Bay of Islands Swordfish Club is a founding member of the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council Inc (NZSFC) and is affiliated to International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) , New Zealand Chartered Clubs (Clubs NZ), The Tuna Club of Avalon, The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Ponsonby Cruising Club, Opua Cruising Club and the Russell Boating Club. Members of all affiliated clubs are most welcome to enjoy the Clubs facilities when visiting the area.
Our Club at present
Today, the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club has clubhouses in both Russell and Paihia. The rich history of game fishing in the Bay of Islands can be traced on the walls of both clubhouses. Exhibits of historic fishing photographs, tackle and memorabilia provides an interesting viewing for both anglers and anyone interested in local history – from the original catch boards from the 1920s where the name of Zane Grey can be found to the most recent “Grander” (1000lb plus). With outstanding views over the Bay and extensive photo displays and historic fishing memorabilia, both our clubhouses are ideal for an intimate gathering or large group. Both clubhouses have full bar, restaurant as well as function facilities.