With recreational boating now permitted under Covid-19 regulations, Mahurangi fishing clubs have been quick to adapt with virtually managed “measure and release” competitions.
The Kawau Bay Fishing Club held its annual Ken Erceg trophy competition for snapper catches over the month of October.
Members used a measuring mat to photograph fish before emailing the pictures to event organisers.
This month, the club will offer a prize to members for heaviest snapper. It has also been waiting to draw a winner for its raffle of a brand new Phoenix fishing kayak and hopes to do so at its next club day, when lockdown ends.
Similarly, the Warkworth Gamefish Club has been trying to host its annual prizegiving and AGM since August.
In the meantime, it has been holding its monthly snapper competition virtually.
“Fishing has been pretty popular in lockdown. It has been madness on the water,” vice president Cam Rathe says.
He says the club is still discussing whether to hold its ladies’ competition this month and children’s competition in December.
The Mangawhai Fishing Club is currently investigating using an Australian-developed mobile app, which will automatically collate entries for its next competition.
Club member Matt Jackson says the club is in the process of communicating its requirements to developers. The club hopes to have one competition before Christmas, but may realistically have to wait until next year.
The Mangakura Boat Club is considering having its major annual competition in either February or March next year.
It will time the date with a convenient morning and afternoon tide.
It usually attracts 60 entries with prizes for the heaviest fish of different species and across various divisions.
It will also hold a competition next June for heaviest gurnard with a top prize of $500.
President Peter Anich says the Mangakura Boat Club is getting too popular for its own good, with members joining from outside of Auckland to make use of its conveniently located access to the Kaipara Harbour.