This fishing club is 40 years hooked, line and sinker

Reeling in the years: Members of the Royal Motor Yacht Club Port Hacking Deep Sea Fishing Club are celebrating the club’s 40th anniversary John Tripodi (from left), Mick Pardoe, William Thomas (junior most improved member), Mitchell Dibben (junior champion), Allan Dibben and club president Stephen Lalor.Picture: Chris Lane
Reeling in the years: Members of the Royal Motor Yacht Club Port Hacking Deep Sea Fishing Club are celebrating the club’s 40th anniversary John Tripodi (from left), Mick Pardoe, William Thomas (junior most improved member), Mitchell Dibben (junior champion), Allan Dibben and club president Stephen Lalor.Picture: Chris Lane

It takes patience to make a good fisherman and after 40 years of big catches the Royal Motor Yacht Club Port Hacking Deep Sea Fishing Club has proven it has both.

The club celebrated its 40th anniversary on September 26 with a dinner for members past and present, young and old.

Left: Mitchell Dibben caught this 1.29-kilogram fish at Bate Bay in May.

Left: Mitchell Dibben caught this 1.29-kilogram fish at Bate Bay in May.

It started in 1975 when founding member Basil Cronk asked whether fellow members of the RMYC Port Hacking wanted to start a deep-sea fishing club.

Club president Stephen Lalor said last week if Basil Cronk were alive today he’d be proud the club now has second-and third-generation keen fishos, male and female, enjoying fishing in and around Port Hacking and further afield.

The club has about 60 members of all ages who use about 20 boats, from trailers to cruisers. They go out every second weekend on Sunday with the season lasting nine months of the year, closing down over winter.

Trips are followed by the Sunday weigh-in back at the club and a barbecue.

While playing coy about the best fishing spots, or marks, in the surrounds of Port Hacking, members have also travelled as far afield as South West Rocks, Port Stephens and Western Australia.

A memorable trip to Port Stephens on board two of the club’s vessels, the Double D and the Manana, members found themselves anchored over a cave where a school of jew fish were feeding. After a big hit on the line, a member brought up a jew fish over a metre in size. By the end of the afternoon the decks of both boats were covered with similar-sized fish.

‘‘We also have an annual fishing trip to New Zealand where we catch mighty king fish and snapper that you can only dream about,’’ Mr Lalor said. ‘‘Every fisho has equalled or bettered their personal best on the New Zealand trip.’’

There have been many memorable fishing moments with the club over the years. Some have been recorded in the club’s 40th anniversary souvenir booklet. Member Allan Dibben’s grandson Mitchell is the club’s junior champion. ‘‘It’s a generational thing,’’ Mr Lalor said. ‘‘It’s a big family club.’’

What makes a good deep-sea fisherman? Co-founder and life member Mick Pardoe said: ‘‘You need a lot of patience, commitment, be able to read the weather and be safety-conscious.’’

The club welcomes new members. The regular Sunday weigh-in is at 3pm.

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