A young Houhora angler was led on a merry dance for over half an hour by a lively kingfish she hooked off Pukenui wharf at Houhora on Saturday whilst fishing in the 48 hour Kidz Fishing Contest at Houhora.
At 6.4kg, and 79cm long, the kingfish led 10-year-old Kaitlyn Cramond from "pillar to post," father Mark noted. Once hooked, she had to climb over a boat moored nearby then onto another smaller boat which took her out onto the harbour so the fish could be hauled in and allow Kaitlyn to retrieve her 4kg line and 3/0 hook.
Worth the effort however, being the only kingfish caught during the 48-hour duration of the contest, where stiff southeasterlies made for generally unpleasant conditions at sea. But organisers noted even wild and windy weather was not enough to prevent 39 brave young anglers, their parents and caregivers accepting the challenge and going fishing wherever they could.
Those who fished from more sheltered spots inside the harbour found decent fish more elusive than normal for this time of the season. The turnout - slightly down compared with last year - also an enthusiastic and entertaining rendition of the Hiwi the Kiwi show promoting sustainable fishing practice and environmental consideration from the Minstrel, Mark De Lacy, to cap off the final weigh in and prize giving on Sunday afternoon.
Children were also entertained by free fire engine rides courtesy of the Houhora Rural Volunteer Fire Force, a bouncy castle, sausage sizzle, lolly scramble, while a special Houhora Fishing Club t-shirt was presented to little Aussie angler, Pia Kerr, in Houhora visiting her kiwi Nan.
Organisers gave a big thank you to all the sponsors, anglers, parents and volunteers on the day. Results from the Houhora Big Game & Sports Fishing Club's annual Kidz Fishing Weekend held from 4pm Friday to the final weigh in at 4pm on Sunday (January 5-6) were as follows.
Snapper: Kimberly Blucher 3.9kg, 1, Shayde Flood 3.7kg, 2, Jayden Schroder 2.8kg, 3; kingfish: Kaitlyn Cramond 6.4kg, 1, Gia Gore-Chapman 2 (lucky draw), Cory Grylls 3 (lucky draw); trevally: Denique Jones 3.4kg, 1, Greer Carey 0.90kg, 2, Luca Gore-Chapman 0.60kg, 3; kahawai: Adam Blucher 2.1kg 1, Jamiro Wells 2.05kg, 2, Josh Edgecombe 1.85kg, 3.
Other species: MacKenzie Blucher 1.25kg tarakihi, 1, A Blucher 1.2kg tarakihi, 2, Cullen Wild 1.1kg John Dory, 3; sprat lucky draw: A and M Blucher 1=; Average weight prize ($100): Stanley Askew 1.3kg kahawai.
Other lucky draw winners were: Jade McBirney Warnes and Milan Carey (getting a tackle box each), Katelyn Edgecombe and Fletch Shuter (Hiwi the Kiwi books), Eve McBirney Warnes, Cole Carey, India Ruddell and Emily Cramond (all receiving Salty Dog packs), while the winner of the Kilwell Smoker raffle was Tania McBirney.
In big gamefishing news, reports were starting to come through of two blue marlin being weighed in at Doubtless Bay and Tutukaka; Houhora still waiting to break the ice and weigh in its first gamefish of the summer.