“We don’t need wallpaper in this house,” jokes Scott Tindale as he gazes around his front hall.
And he’s right, for every inch of available wall space is covered in framed certificates, each denoting a world angling record for either himself or his wife Sue.
The pair currently hold nearly 220 approved and pending International Game Fish Association (IGFA) records between them, and they’re still hoping to hook more.
While Scott grew up fishing from a young age, Sue had never picked up a rod until she met her husband in 1985. But it wasn’t long before she took his hints.
“He used to teach people to dive, so he’d take me out on the Manukau and leave me with fishing rods all around the place all baited up while he took a lesson,” Sue says laughing.
“I’d get bored so I’d stick the line down…but I was a bit of a wuss in those days and didn’t want to get the fish off the line so I’d just wind it up to the top of the rod and stick it in the holder and go and grab another rod and it used to drive him crazy with all these fish flapping around in the wind!”
“Like a flag waving in the wind,” says Scott with a smile and a roll of the eyes.
However, since catching her first world record in 2003 – a 3.1 kilogram Kahawai that remains the current women’s 3 kg (6 lb.) line record – Sue has never looked back.
And neither has Scott, with his first world record coming a year earlier when he caught a 167.6 kilogram smooth hammerhead Shark that continues to hold the All-Tackle title.
Catching big ones runs in the family. Scott's great-grandfather with a Hammerhead Shark and a Marlin caught off the coast of Whangaroa, Northland, and his great-aunt with the catch of the day in front of the Whangaroa Hotel.
But it’s not all about the record chasing.
The Tindales are now helping to provide crucial information about New Zealand fish species to scientists both here and overseas.
Having been involved in more than 50 research projects, the couple are currently helping the Department of Conservation locate and satellite tag Great White sharks in the Kaipara Harbour, so more can be learned about the movements of the endangered species.
“It’s a thrill to be able to help contribute information for research and educational purposes,” says Sue. “It’s reignited our passion for angling.”
And it’s a passion that recently saw the pair travel to Florida, to receive lifetime achievement awards from the IGFA.
They’re the only New Zealanders to be bestowed the honours with the IGFA stating the Tindales ‘truly embody the association’s ideals of ethical angling and productive science’.
Join Spectrum’s Lisa Thompson as she meets the husband and wife team who can’t wait to see what their next casts will turn up.