New Owners for Screaming Reels

  • NZ Fishing News

Russell tackle shop Screaming Reels has new owners in Garry and Merrin Townley, who took over the business in mid-September.

While Garry is new to the tackle trade, he is familiar with the ‘client’ end of the business, having been a keen angler for many years. His background is in forestry management in New Zealand and various Pacific countries, enjoying the opportunity to wet a line whenever the opportunity arose.

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Garry and Merrin moved to the Bay of Islands several years ago from the South Island, Garry enjoying the fishing opportunities their new home base offered. A keen trailer boat angler, Garry and his crew enjoy chasing the pelagics in the summer season, along with snapper and kingfish year-round. His boat, named Merrin after his ‘better half,’ caught the first yellowfin for the Bay of Island Swordfish Club (BOISC) last season, and he has christened it with several billfish.

Having been in the shop for a month or so, Garry is enjoying the customer interaction. “There are not many jobs where you get to talk about your passion all day long,” he says. He says he has no intention of ‘reinventing the tackle retailing wheel’, welcoming existing and new customers to the shop, which is conveniently located in Russell behind the BOISC’s facilities.

“If we don’t have an item in stock, we can order it and have it in the customer’s hands in a day or two.” The one thing that has been a pleasant surprise is the number of online sales and inquiries made via

“We have had sales from customers as far afield as Gore.” The outlet carries a wide range of tackle, along with a good selection of bait and berley. “Being close to the wharf and ramp, it is easy for people to swing by and get their supplies, including ice, before heading out for the day. If they go on extended trips, we can have pre-ordered bait, berley and ice requirements packed and ready for them to collect, along with any tackle.”

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