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ANZAC Weekend Competition Report

Written by Tim on April 29th, 2015.      0 comments

NZ Kayaker Events: ANZAC Weekend Report
Date: Sunday 26th April 2015
Time: 6.30am – 2pm
Location: Pilot Bay, Tauranga Harbour
Cost: $10pp
Anglers: 18
Format: shotgun start from the beach, weight in from 12-2pm, prize giving at 2pm sharp.
Prizes: trophies for 1st place in each category + spot prizes. Heaviest snapper also receives 50% of entry fees.
Charity: LegaSea receives other 50% of entry fees.
This competition was designed to be a fun, safe, and ultimately enjoyable way for kayak anglers to experience a competitive fishing environment. Originally scheduled to run from Rogers Road (Pukenina Beach), we were disappointed when a big swell arrived during the week, forcing a change of location to the Tauranga Harbour. This decision was made purely for safety reasons, as many of the competitors are inexperienced in big surf.
Competitors started arriving at 5.30am and after a quick safety briefing competitors were off with a shotgun start from Pilot Bay at 6.30am. Conditions in the harbour were perfect for a morning fish. With low tide at 6.56am, competitors raced to get to the entrance to take advantage of the last of the outgoing tide. One lucky angler, Peter Stephens, managed to secure a small (but legal) kingfish during this period. Others weren’t so lucky, with their mechanical jigs being dogged by barracuda or finding snags on the rocks around the Māori statue.
Once the tide changed competitors spread out throughout the harbour; some of them anchoring up in the channels and stray lining pillies, while others drifted with softbaits. By 12pm a number of anglers had arrived back at shore complaining of sore backsides. It appeared that fish numbers were relatively light but with the conditions calm, they were all happy. As the official fishing period didn’t end until 2pm, I encouraged them to get back out there after they had stretched out. However by 1pm most anglers were back on shore. A couple of hardy chaps struck it out to the very last minute while everyone back on shore relaxed, enjoyed each others company, and swapped hard-luck stories (of which there were a few).
Results: snapper
  1. Michael Orme 0.92kg (receives trophy + $80 cash)
  2. Peter Stephens 0.90kg
  3. Scott Annear 0.86kg
  4. Michael Orme 0.74kg
  5. Ash Rawlinson 0.72kg
Results: kahawai
  1. Mark Ray 2.34kg
  2. Bryan ? 2.0kg
  3. Mike Stall 1.82kg
  4. Darren ? 1.64kg
Results: john dory
  1. Scott 1.16kg
Results: kingfish
  1. Peter Stephens 5.92kg
Results: trevally
  1. Bryan 3.0kg
  2. Shane 2.92kg
  3. Bryan 2.54kg
  4. Scott Annear 1.52kg
Final Word
To get 18 kayak anglers on the water when there was a rubbish forecast, was a pleasing achievement. The BOP kayak fishermen have proven to be reluctant to join any sort of club but all those who attended this competition agreed that they liked the informal approach, and relaxed nature of this competition. It allowed them to grow their skills in a safe environment, as well as meet a few new kayakers that they can meet up with at another time.
This competition also raised $80 for my chosen charity, LegaSea. From personal experience I know that this is only a drop in the bucket when it comes to the finances needed to successfully lobby the government for fisheries change. This is just my way of making a small contribution.   
Due to your generous support, all competitors went home with a goodie bag full of spot prizes. I would like to personally thank you for contributing to my first couple of competitions. While only small, they attract many new participants, which ultimately represent new customers for your respective business. For the 2015/16 season I hope to double the number of competitions to at least four, so I look forward to your continued support.
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