Looking for a spot to go fishing on January 26? Try Matata – and you might win $6000 if you catch the biggest snapper on the day, or $1000 for a decent-size Kahawai.
But there will be a bit of competition in this year’s Rotorua Fishing and Casting Club Inc’s 45th Surf Casting Bonanza, after last year hooked 800 fishers vying for the prizes.
Dave Brown, getting in a few casts this week.
Club president and Papamoa resident Dave Brown says 2013’s competition reeled in about 100 Tauranga surfcasters on the beach at Matata, enjoying the fishing and the company.
He’s unsure how many will hook into the competition this year – but says as a family day trip, the surfcasting bonanza offers something for everyone.
“For 2014, we have made some changes to the prize pool,” says Dave. “We have increased the value of the ladies’ prizes and added one more prize to the kahawai section.
“There will be a barbecue on the day courtesy of Paengaroa School, and a lolly scramble for kids during weigh-in. This is a great family day with everyone catered for.”
Organisers have also had to make traffic arrangements to handle the more than 800 anglers the club is expecting.
On competition day, a 70km/h speed restricted will be in place 20 metres either side of the contest headquarters, at the eastern end of Matata straight. No road-side parking is permitted in the restricted speed zone, but sign-posted parking is next to Greenfield’s farm.
Starting in 1969, the competition has become one of the longest running one-day fishing competitions organised and run by an amateur fishing club in New Zealand.
The Anniversary weekend competition is the not-for-profit club’s main fundraiser. Money raised helps run the club and achieves its objectives of encouraging the sport of casting, teaching the art of angling, and encouraging good sportsmanship and friendly competition, says Dave.
Major prizes this year include $6000 for heaviest snapper, $1000 for heaviest kahawai, plus a section for children under age 12. There are also prizes for the heaviest fish caught by a woman, heaviest trevally, and heaviest fish of other species.
Competition entry fee costs $25 per rod or hand line with fishing starting 8am Sunday morning and finishing at 2pm. The final weigh in is at 3pm at contest headquarters. The fishing ground is from Waitahanui Stream at the west, and Matata Domain in the East.
Tickets are available from Tauranga shops Hamills on Cameron Rd and Top Catch on Mirrielees Rd, The Bait Shop on Mount Maunganui’s Totara St, and Te Puke Rod and Line on Jellicoe St.
You can also enter at Top Catch Hamilton on Kahikatea Drive, Iceman commercial wharf at Whakatane, Matata Seafoods on Arawa St, Opotiki Bait and Tackle on St John St and Mad Mike’s Sports Emporium on Tongariro Street, Taupo.