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Wind batters angler at Castlepoint

By Beckie Wilson

[email protected]

For Masterton man Ben Smith, fishing at Castlepoint is simple: “You can always catch something here if you’re using the right bait.”

But on Friday afternoon, Mr Smith was among 100 fellow fishermen still waiting for “the big one” on the first day of the 22nd annual Castlepoint Fishing Competition.

Bursts of gale force winds (plus 50 knots) meant boat-based fishing had to be cancelled, but the beaches and reefs were still dotted with eager fishermen.

Fishing lines were in at about 6am to secure every chance of winning one of several $1000 prizes for the heaviest fish.

The children’s section, which also ran yesterday and today, has prizes for everyone, and this year an overall prize for the heaviest fish.

Mr Smith, has entered the competition for a few years now, but yesterday said the wind was blowing everyone away.

“That’s just fishing, you can’t do anything about it.”

Organisers Emily Crofoot, and Jenny Skeet said the turnout was similar to last year.

By Friday morning, on a fine but windy day, 100 adults had registered for land-based fishing, and about 25 boats, compared to last year’s 117 land-based, and 34 boats.

The children were as keen as ever with about 30 entered in both age group categories over the two days.

Mrs Crofoot, children’s competition organiser, has been involved in the event for 17 years.

“We think it’s really important, it’s united fundraising for the whole community with all proceeds going back into the community,” she said.

Jade Oakly may be only aged 11, but she is already an experienced angler with this year being her third entry. Jade and her family came up from Ngaumu to their bach at Castlepoint to fish at least five or six times a year.

“Last year I caught a crab and a few fish,” she said.

“It’s fun catching fish, and also seeing what you can catch.”

Jade entered another Castlepoint fishing competition this holiday period and won $70 for the heaviest gurnard.

Charlie Baldwin from Masterton has always done well in the fishing competition, but this year he was off to a rough start.

Being one of the competition veterans, Mr Baldwin has competed “since day one”, — usually out on his boat.

“Sometimes it’s not good, but it’s about being out for the weekend, which is why the competition is good,” he said.

“There’s a big one still to come”.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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