Nick Gloyn Jones is a name well known in fishing circles around South Africa – and indeed the world. He has competed on some of the biggest stages in world fishing, has won a string of provincial, national and international medals, and is a well travelled angler with a wealth of experience built up over the years. Nick has selflessly agreed to share some of that priceless knowledge in a series of articles for Leisure Boating in coming editions and we decided to introduce him to you, our valued reader, by means of a little interview to get to know the man behind the Trailblazer Fishing brand.
Nick, to kick it off, just give us a little background info such as where you grew up and what you did before you got into the angling game. I grew up on a farm in Zimbabwe, which was still known as Rhodesia back then of course – not to give away my age or anything! I attended high school at Prince Edward in Salisbury – now known as Harare, after which I followed family back to South Africa in 1976, farming in Hartebeeshoek.
My first job was on a game reserve, which I did for a year before joining the Atomic Energy Board and enrolling at University. I was then called up to the army for two years after which I moved to Cape Town in 1981 – first working for a plastics company and then in the insurance industry before the fishing tackle bug finally bit me in 1992. How and when did you first get into fishing? The first fish I ever caught was a freshwater barbel of about 4 kg from a river in Darwendale (Zimbabwe). It is one of my most treasured memories; I still remember my little heart beating furiously, especially when a huge croc swam past just as I landed it on the bank!
Thereafter every waking moment I wasn’t at school (and even sometimes when I was supposed to be) was spent next to a river or dam. I spent countless holidays at Ngezi Dam (Zimbabwe), catching bream, tiger fish, and barbel. We also used to make an annual trip to Kariba Dam and Mana Pools and probably my favourite fishing spot in Zimbabwe, Inyanga Dam, for trout fishing. We know you are a well decorated angler; can you name some of your achievements and those which meant the most to you?
I started offshore big game fishing relatively late in life at the age of 33 but when the bug bit, it bit hard! My first great feat was in 1995 when I was named Top Angler in a Rumbly Bay club competition. My first cap for Western Province came in 1997; we came second that year and I remember being extremely disappointed that we missed out on the top spot. I then received my first provincial gold medal in 2000 at a Griquas Inter-Provincial after which I was called up for my first Protea cap in 2001 and received a silver medal in the FIPS World Championships in Antibes, France.
On my second Protea cap I received a gold medal at the All Africa Internationals in 2002. More recent awards include a gold medal and Top Angler award in the Port St Francis Inter Provincials in 2006; a silver in 2007’s Tuna Inter Provincials in Rumbly Bay; and most recently our team came third and I was named third top angler in this year’s Tuna Inter Club at Rumbly Bay.