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Matt Watson hooked on NZ Proven Hilux


Toyota is pitting its New Zealand proven Hilux against some of the country’s most rugged terrains, with extreme fisherman Matt Watson set to take the iconic truck to the far north in search of the best catch.

Designed by Watson himself as the ultimate fishing utility, the new Hilux 4WD double cab SR5 has been kitted out with an impressive array of Toyota accessories and modifications that would hook even the most die-hard fisherman.

Watson says the truck has everything you’d expect to be able to land the big one – plus a few things you might not.

“There were a bunch of Toyota accessories I had to have, plus a few custom mods we thought would be cool on the back of the ute. I thought the build team was joking with a few of the more ‘out there’ ideas, so I was pretty surprised to see the Hilux roll in with a pneumatic bait caster in the tray!

“The team at Toyota talk about the Hilux being New Zealand proven, and this truck puts a stamp on it.”

Watson’s customised SR5 – which will be on show at Fieldays from 11 to 14 June – stands out with a matte Lagoon Blue wrap, and carbon fibre wrap black accents on the bonnet, roof, side, door handles and tailgate for a distinctive street appeal.

The truck sits on 20” black Fuel Trophy alloy wheels with Nitto Terra Grappler all-terrain tyres, to unlock the hard-to-reach fishing spots.
Stainless steel side pipes, front and back forge alloy bullbars and Hella front spot lights mean the Hilux is tough enough to traverse even the most challenging tracks.

What really sets Watson’s Hilux apart is a full range of fishing modifications, installed with the help of Toyota’s customisation team.

The SR5 includes a Seahorse Kontiki with torpedo, winch and traceboard. Railblaza rod holders and fittings frame the tray, while Hella rear mounted spot lights mean the fish will have to be on their guard day and night.

A Hi-Tech Plastics bait board and Icey-Tek chilli bin make it easy to bait both the kontiki and rods right out of the back of the truck, while the custom-made hydraulic bait caster launches baited lines direct from the truck up to 280 metres into the surf.

Jared Burns was part of the team fitting out the Hilux at Toyota’s Thames plant, and says creating Watson’s ute has been a truly unique project.

“There are not too many Hilux’s out there with that many accessories on it and with such a broad range at that. It was a good test of our ability to pull together a pretty complex concept and turn it into reality.

“It looks cool, has the off-road chops and all the gadgets for a great day’s fishing.  It’s just the perfect all-round man truck and a great way to show what’s possible with a Hilux.”

To see all the Toyota Genuine Accessories, Custom Accessories and customisations that Matt Watson chose for his ultimate Hilux, visit  

Toyota is a proud sponsor of ITM Fishing Show, New Zealand’s favourite tv show, starring Toyota ambassador Matt Watson.