In 1907, a group of anglers living in the Prahran area, decided to start a Club but found that a Prahran Angling Club was already in existence and so took the name of the adjoining suburb of Toorak. Of course, as Toorak became the most fashionable of suburbs, the Club took on a reputation of being an exclusive domain. This has never been the case and we have always taken our members from a wide selection of people. Meetings were held initially at ‘The Duke of Yorke Hotel’ in High Street.
Soon after the Club was formed, some of the Members, who farmed market gardens in the area, donated a 1 acre block of what was then swamp land, to the Club. Using part of this land in 1922, the Club House was built in High Street Prahran; this was finally sold in 1987 and activities were concentrated at ‘Pattendon’ in Canons Creek. Access to Cannons Creek was restricted over low tides and in 1995, Pattendon was sold and the Westernport base was moved to Warneet where it is currently located.
The 1914-18 World war was the first big disruption and we have a minuted record of club Members signing up for service in France. Getting to the fishing grounds in the early years was a problem, as there were almost no private cars, so travel was by tram, train, or horse but more usually by a hire van. In those days, the whiting catches were enormous but, as records show, there were lean years even then. For many of the past 50 years we have specialized in whiting fishing at northern Westernport . To this end, the Club has had a collection of displacement boats and more recently, a modern planing hull.
What a change from the early days when, in 1915, Club Members were disqualified from fishing in a competition because they used a motor boat.