400 angle for $10k prize kahawai

By Graham Skellern

Nearly 400 anglers lined up along Papamoa Beach provided an impressive sight. They came from all over the North Island and as far away as Akaroa - proof that fishing is indeed one of New Zealanders' favourite pastimes.

Shannon Anaru, from Rotorua, sat patiently alongside his surfcasting rod for a day-and-a-half. Finally at lunchtime yesterday as the deadline neared he sprang into action, reeling in a 2.16kg kahawai and then another one weighing 2.04kg.

Mr Anaru, who fishes every second weekend at Maketu near his bach, walked away with the top prize of $10,000 in the ITM Kahawai World Cup, organised by Papamoa Rotary Club with Western Bay Surfcasting Club.

A total of 389 anglers, stretching from Harrisons Cut to the end of Karewa Parade, competed in the two-day fishing contest.

There was a slight swell but the fishing conditions, and weather, suited everyone. The kahawai, however, decided they weren't going to be an easy catch.

Seventy-eight of them were weighed in during the contest. Vijay Raj, a Port of Tauranga shipping and cargo surveyor, produced the third heaviest kahawai at 1.93kg.

"It was hard fishing," said Mr Raj, a member of the Western Bay Surfcasting Club for two years. "Last year I only caught some snapper but it was the wrong species."

Co-organiser Fraser McCullough said the snapper caught this time were barbecued on the beach for breakfast and lunch.

He said the event was very successful - with 100 more anglers than last year - and there was no doubt it would be held again next year.

Mr McCullough said the Rotary Club expected to raise about $20,000 which would be distributed to community projects.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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