Lines in the water — what’s the best excuse for a great day’s fishing? Great prizes, big catches and a boost for local schools!

Surfcasting the wild west coast

by Andy Bryenton

The west coast of the Kaipara is famous for many things, but world-class fishing is high on the list. The beautiful scenery and wild ocean are a reason not just to visit, but for many of our locals, they are where the motivation to move here for good! That’s why a fishing contest, which takes place on the surf-beaten shores of the west is something a bit special, and the big one is coming very soon!

Many years ago, the parents and teachers at Kaihu and Aranga put their heads together to come up with a fundraising idea to benefit their small rural schools. They came up with the concept of a surfcasting tourney at Omamari beach, and it’s grown year on year, with a roll call of big winners, massive catches, memorable fishing stories and huge prizes each time. This year the contest takes place on March 30, so it’s time to pick up some tickets from your local fishing store in Dargaville, gear up, grab some mates, and prepare your best long-distance cast to get out into the deep water. Tickets will also be available on the beach on the day.

This year the main prizes are for kahawai, giving all anglers a better chance of winning. Motivation comes from two sources bragging rights as ‘king of the surf’ and pots of cash. There’s $3,000 cash for first place, $2,000 cash for second and $1,000 cash for third.

Prizes for snapper and trevally are also in the mix, as well as spot prizes to add to the fun. Making this a great family day out, kids under 12 can fish for free. Of course, all the money raised from entries goes to charity.

Each year organisers give $500 to the Northland Rescue Helicopter, $500 to the lifeguards, this year Te Kopuru, and the remaining profits are shared among those schools who participate in the running of the contest. Those are Dargaville Primary, Dargaville Intermediate and Selwyn Park with one of the original schools, Aranga also back involved this year. What better excuse for a great day’s fishing? Come and get involved join the anglers on Omamari beach from 9am on Saturday, March 30, and who knows? You might land the big one!