Sunday, 17 November 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Matarangi Fire Force Easter Fishing Competition another huge success

Local community spirit was alive and well last Saturday when the Matarangi Volunteer Rural Fire Force held their annual Easter Fishing Competition in what was described by many as almost perfect conditions both on and off the water.

While numbers entered in the competition itself were once again very healthy, it was the large number of locals and visitors who turned up for the end of day fish auction outside the Matarangi Fire Station and who dug deep into their pockets for such a worthy cause, that capped off a very successful day. 

In all, there were sixty seven auctions held with the majority of successful bidders taking home a generous and varying selection of bagged fish. The largest bid on the day was $100 for a 7.5kg standalone snapper while in the spirit of the event, one very generous bidder who handed over $60 for a similarly large snapper, immediately donated the fish back to the auction.      

Chief Fire Officer of the Matarangi Volunteer Rural Fire Force, Stuart Arnold, was thrilled with the turnout. “In all we had 59 entries in the adult fishing competition, made up 43 anglers fishing from boats and 16 land-based anglers, plus 13 youngsters [aged three to 11]. The competition has been running longer than I care to remember, but well in excess of 25 years, with all funds raised going towards our general expenses and ongoing upgrades of our equipment and premises.

“Conditions for the anglers this year don’t come much better, which was reflected in the large catch and the generous amounts of fish we were able to pass onto those who took part in the auction.”

Sponsor generosity was also on show from both individuals and local businesses with a vast a selection of products as main and spot prizes, while all children who fished in the children’s competition received a goodie pack.

Matarangi local, Howie Taylor, took away the main prize of $1,000 for being closest to the average weight snapper (1.368kg), while Jackson Bradley claimed $500 for the heaviest snapper (9.675kg) and Luke Findlay pocketed $150 as the runner-up with his catch of 7.560kg. There were also numerous $100 winners for a variety of different species of fish caught including kahawai, trevally, john dory, gurnard and kingfish. The eagerly awaited closest to the mystery weight winner was another Matarangi local, Barrie Hulme, with a 2.622kg snapper.

Brother and sister Azaray and Lyric Gardner went home happy after winning the heaviest and second heaviest fish respectively in the children’s competition.

In addition to the numerous fishing prizes handed out, a 6hp Mercury 4-stroke outboard motor donated by Mercury Marine and valued at $2,500 was raffled off.

“We can’t thank the sponsors and the people who took part in the bidding enough for their fantastic generosity and support of our fishing competition,” says Stuart. “With the money raised we can continue to provide a very professional and ongoing volunteer service for our community. If people can avail themselves to any of our sponsors’ services or products in the future, we would be most grateful.”

The Matarangi Volunteer Rural Fire Force crew themselves also deserve some credit for the longevity and popularity of their annual Easter Fishing Competition. Behind the scenes, Stuart’s team work tirelessly to ensure the competition runs smoothly every year.

This years’s Matarangi Easter Fishing Competition was sponsored by Fleet Servicing, The Dunes Golf Club, Arahiwi Farms, All Terrain Bobcat Services, Beach Realty, Big Tuff Pallets, Richardsons Real Estate, Lion Breweries, Otanguru Farms, Matarangi Boat & Fishing Club, Four Square Matarangi, Carters, Puku & Kerre’s Liquor Store, Hurdleys Office Furniture, Mercury Marine, O Degrees Ice Supplies Whitianga, Ray White Real Estate, Anita Beach and Jan Spry.

Pictured: Stuart Arnold (left), Chief Fire Officer of the Matarangi Volunteer Rural Fire Force, handing Howie Taylor’s his prize for being closest to the average weight in the Fire Force’s annual Easter Fishing Competition that was held on Saturday last week.

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