GT Tackle and Geoff Thomas
To most people Geoff Thomas is known as GT. His TV shows, books, videos and DVD’s have been entertaining and instructing Kiwis for more than 40 years. GT has spent years fine tuning some of his fish-catching techniques and tackle, and now GT brings you his selection of tackle and other products, at the best possible prices. Because there is no middle-man involved, we can offer very competitive prices. We also promise to deliver, absolutely free, the latest reports, tips and tricks and videos on how to catch more fish. GT Tackle is all about you catching fish. As well as GT the team includes dedicated outdoorsmen including Tim Goldfinch and Paul Thomas.
Geoff’s been a fisherman all his life
Growing up in Pakuranga where he fished at every opportunity from wharves and rocks in the area; and also at Lake Tarawera where the family had a bach.
After leaving Auckland University in 1966 he trained as a journalist at the Auckland Star newspaper, working as a reporter and sub-editor. After a brief stint as a news
reporter and reader for the first private radio station, Radio I, in 1970 he moved his young family to Rotorua and entered the tourist business as a trout fishing guide, also working part-time as a reporter for the Rotorua Daily Post and photographer for the NZ Herald.
In 1975 Geoff developed the tourist business further, establishing Trout Safaris (NZ) Ltd, a travel agency specialising in promoting NZ overseas, and arranging travel for visiting sportsmen. This involved extensive promotion overseas, including trips to the USA and Canada in 1977, 1978, 1984, 1986 and 1988, attending fishing conferences. Of course, he also took the opportunity to hunt and fish extensively in the USA, Canada and Australia. His clients included Jack Nicklaus, Larry ‘JR’ Hagman, James ‘The Virginian’ Drury and many other stars of the screen as well as top international businessmen. Some of the best fly fishermen in the world visited NZ to fish with Geoff, including Ernest Schwiebert and Lefty Kreh.
While in Rotorua he held the positions of President, Rotorua Anglers’ Association;
inaugural member and president, NZ Professional Fishing Guides’ Association; and helped establish a new body to coordinate the marketing of New Zealand sport fishing internationally and was inaugural chairman of the NZ Sport Fishing Marketing Group, established in 1984 involving Air NZ, the Tourist Hotel Corporation, Mount Cook Line, and the trout fishing guides’ and Luxury Lodges’ associations.
In 1984 Geoff attended the IGFA’s inaugural World Angling Conference in France, where he showed a film on fishing in NZ. He also represented NZ at the inaugural conference in Canberra of the Australian Recreational Fishing Confederation(1986), and gave an address on how recreational fishing is managed in NZ.
He then established a booking agency in the USA with an American partner, Charles Gaines, called Pathways International, which sends sportsmen to exclusive destinations in NZ, Australia, South America, Canada, Europe and Africa. (Since been sold.)
From TV to Film, Radio and books…
TELEVISION AND FILM
Geoff Thomas turned his journalism and fishing skills to television and film, and in 1981 produced his first programme – a pilot for a television series on fishing in NZ.
He then established Safari Productions Ltd and raised finance for a series; hosting, writing and producing 13 half-hour television documentaries on fishing throughout NZ and two one-hour programmes, called Fishing Downunder. He also produced three promotional films for the tourist fishing industry, and in 1986 produced six videos for general sale – the first ever made in NZ.
With the film and video business expanding Geoff moved his family back to Auckland in 1989 where the video business took off with the release of the first major fishing video, and one of the biggest selling videos of all time, Snapper Secrets. This was so successful that it was soon followed by Kingfish Secrets, Surfcasting Secrets, Seafood Secrets, Trout Secrets, More Snapper Secrets, Shooting Secrets, Duck Calling Secrets and Snapper Secrets 2. With more than 150,000 videos sold he continued to produce more fishing videos including Take a Kid Fishing, Outdoor Paradise, Magic Fishing Moments and Bluewater Magic. These were followed by sell-through videos in other genres, including 13 titles covering rugby, the history of NZ cricket, bungy jumping, aerobics and gardening.
When DVD replaced video Geoff continued to produce outdoor DVD’s for the market with New Snapper Secrets, Fishing Soft Baits, Hunting the Roar, It’s a Blast, Getting Started Fishing for Snapper.
Throughout the years Geoff retained his journalism activities as a weekly fishing columnist for the NZ Herald (1991-2014)and outdoors columnist for the Herald on Sunday (2009-12); creating a new product in September 2011 when he produced the first monthly Outdoors supplement in the NZ Herald.
In 1999 he turned his skills to magazines as the inaugural editor of a new fishing magazine, the glossy NZ Fishing World, passing on the reins after producing 69 issues.
Geoff continued his radio broadcasting career with regular guest spots on Newstalk ZB, culminating with his own show, The Fishing Breakfast, on the new station Radio Sport, when it was launched in 1998. He hosted this show every Saturday morning from 6-8am until January ’09 when he launched a new show, The Fishing Show, on LiveSport radio which he hosted until December 2011. “Now I can sleep in on Saturdays – or go away for the weekend!” he said after winding up his live radio career. But he continues to provide guest spots on regular shows from time to time.
Geoff has worked with all the major publishers and in 1995 he wrote his first book, Trout Secrets, which was followed by a series of five small fishing books under the title of Fishing Secrets. His biggest work came in1998 with the ‘bible’ of NZ fishing, The Complete NZ Fisherman, which won a Montana Book Award. Trout Secrets was re-published in 2001 and then a compilation of Fishing Secrets was followed by Best Boat Fishing Spots. His latest book is Outdoors wth Geoff – a compilation of 100 columns from the Herald on Sunday.
Last year Geoff ventured into the tackle busines when he launched his own brand of tackle online, GT Tackle, specialising in custom-designed snapper fishing tackle.
But it is through his regular television show, Outdoors with Geoff, that most Kiwis know Geoff Thomas. His television production career reads as follows –
- 1982-84 produced and hosted 13 episodes of Fishing Down Under
- 1995-96 : Hosted and wrote 52 episodes over four series of The OutdoorJournal, an outdoor television series, for the Horizon Pacific network of regional stations.
- 1999-2015 : Produced, wrote and hosted nearly 400 episodes Outdoors with Geoff.
The TV show finally came to an end on March 26, 2016, with the last episode of Rheem Outdoors with Geoff. Past series continue to feature on channels like Country TV, with the occasional one-hour special on TV3.