Introducing John Vowless

John moved to Whangarei as a ten-year-old and began fishing as a teen. He admits to not being very successful until getting help from two 'very good' local fishermen. He subsequently joined Whangarei Line and Light Rod Club and, amongst 'great comradery', learned plenty more.

He went on to represent the club in two national competitions, winning champion boat angler in 1992 and co-winning champion team. In the same competition in 1996, he was second place boat angler and won the boat teams event again.

Says John: "I have been lucky enough to catch some significant fish - a 12.77kg (28.94 lb) snapper from a 12ft 8hp Parkercraft at Hen Island. This fish earnt me a New Zealand line class record. Shortly after this, records stopped being recognised in pounds so this record will not be broken."


John was instrumental with Grim Reaper jigs when jigs were new and exciting and caught a huge variety of fish species on them, including many kingfish over 25kg. He successfully chased club and New Zealand records for a number of years.

"The catch I am most proud of is a 52kg (114lb) Hapuka I caught on a trip to the Three Kings Islands in 1989 - each fillet weighed 20kg!" He held the New Zealand (and club record) until a couple of years ago.

These days, John fishes for pleasure and the table but still has regular contact with many fishers and a sound knowledge of who is catching what, where, and when, along with what method/rig/bait/lure is working best.

John wrote the Whangarei Area Report for NZ Fishing News magazine for 24 years. He will begin his new fishing column in next month's Savvy.