by Patryce Salmon
The 23rd January was slightly windy, but sunny, perfect for the Kaipara Cruising & Sportfishing Club Annual Kid’s Fishing Competition.
The club was established in the 1940s and the annual fishing competitions are a great way of attracting new members.
Competition organiser, Sheena Johnson has grown up in the KCSC, and has participated in all the fishing competitions for many years. She is now organising the events while her own family participate. “Over the years I know I caught some pretty big Snapper,” she said “but I just remember it being a really fun day”. The club enjoys the help of many supporters and volunteers like Jean who has been on the bar at KCSC for 17 years.
The competition has been running for more than 20 years, and has been growing in size each year. This year, the KCSC had 83 children registered for the competition. “Back in the day we would only have 15 kids registered. Some kids are very keen, and it’s a 50/50 mix of club member’s children and children from the community” Sheena says.
There were five main categories; Snapper, Kahawai, Gurnard, Travelly and King Fish. Children are aiming for First, Second or Third in each of those categories, however every child that participates leaves with a prize. The prizes were all sponsored by businesses or families in the community. This year the prize pool was valued at $1500 and the major sponsors for this event were the very generous local business Water FX and Burnsco, West Haven.
The competition started at 6am, just before sunrise at 6.30am and high tide 6.50am, and all fish caught had to be brought to the club at Mill Road Helensville for weighing by 4pm. By then the club was a hive of activity with many excited children lined up to have their fish weighed. There was talk of a King Fish being caught, which was the first in many years and it did not disappoint. Many children, not engrossed in the weighing in had fun jumping on the bouncy castle, and playing with swing ball sets that the club members had supplied and set up on the grass area outside the clubrooms. After a meal and something to drink it was time for prize giving.
Ollie White caught the only King Fish of the day at 6.105kg and walked away with a nice new Burnsco fishing rod and reel. The biggest Snapper went to Kingston Wihongi Johnson – 4.020kg, biggest Kahawai went to Brylee Halliday – 2.235kg, biggest Travelly went to Ryan Kennedy – 2.230kg and the biggest Gurnard went to Indie Foreman – 0.740kg. Prizes included Burnsco fishing rods, tackle boxes, chilly bins, vouchers, boogie boards, books and much more, there were even a couple of $50 cash prizes.
The Simmonds Family kindly donated an amazing kayak, which was put up for the mystery weight Snapper. Kaitlyn Dayberg Allen won this prize with a Snapper that weighed 2.335kg, which was closest to the randomly generated weight on the day of 2.180kg.
It was great to see all the smiling faces and families enjoying themselves at a local event such as this one. Sheena and her team did a great job planning and running the competition and we are lucky, as a community, to have such helpful and passionate people around us. The KCSC welcomes anyone interested in becoming a member to go on down to the club and see what it’s all about.
Special mention needs to be made of the sponsors. Without generous and community minded people and businesses, events such as this would simply not happen. They include Water FX, Burnsco West Haven, Barfoot and Thompson, Countdown, FMG, New World Kumeu, Parakai Springs, Parakai 4 Square, Paper Plus Helensville, SPOOKERS, Snowplanet, Scholastic, Sunny Days Preschool, Snapper Fishing Charters, Tree Adventures, The King Family, The Simmonds Family, Top Catch, South Kaipara Clean Ups, and World Moving.
Upcoming events for the Kaipara Cruising & Sportfishing Club, which can be found on Facebook in include for those interested:
! Shotgun Ladies Fishing Competition, Saturday 6th February 2021. This promises to be another great event with a $500 prize up for grabs for the mystery weight Snapper.
! The Kaipara Cruising & Sportfishing Club Regatta 20th February 2021
! Annual Fishing Competition 6th March 2021