Anglers set lines for charity

By Genevieve Helliwell

The fish were biting for the 92 anglers who took to the sea at the weekend for a fishing competition that raised thousands of dollars for charity.

Lines were cast from boats, kayaks and jet-skis, while surfcasters tried their luck at landing the big one from shore.

Organised by three Bay of Plenty businessmen, this is the second year the competition has been held in Tauranga, this year raising money for Ronald McDonald House.

The house provides free accommodation and support to families whose children have been admitted to Auckland's Starship Hospital.

Co-organiser Steve Rolfe said snapper and kahawai were the fish of choice, with one angler landing a barracuda,

"One guy caught a fish, then it broke off, then the next thing he knew he had caught a barracuda. When he pulled it up the fish and the hook were inside the barracuda, that was a hard case," he said.

"There were a few sharks recovered and that's always a good story, bringing a shark up to the side of a boat, and overall it was a really fun day."

A couple of large snapper were also caught, the heaviest weighing in at 6.2kg. However, the winner was judged on the average weight of the angler's heaviest three fish.

Lawrence Flude won first place, sponsored by the Stewart Browne group, while Tauranga's Jesse Dingle won the photography category.

After a day fishing, anglers gathered at Classic Flyers to weigh their fish and dance the night away to the tunes of local band Big Bang Theory.

"It was an absolutely amazing event," Mr Rolfe said. "We had people from Rotorua, Waihi and Hamilton come over to fish in the competition.

"There were also a lot of people who entered and didn't fish but wanted to come to the after-function and support the cause, which was really neat."

Money was raised for Ronald McDonald House through a courtesy bus which transported people to the prizegiving, sausage sizzle and silent auction, which included a signed pair of boots owned by All Black Cory Jane. A local trust also donated $2000 on the night.

Ronald McDonald House chief executive Wayne Howett also took part in the prizegiving.

Last year 194 Bay of Plenty families stayed at Ronald McDonald house for 2110 nights, with 31 per cent of stays lasting more than 30 days.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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