Nearly 400 kids flocked to Chinaman’s beach in Kalbarri to fish in the town’s annual Kids’ Whiting Competition run by the Kalbarri Offshore and Angling Club. This event is one of the most fun and successful kids’ fishing events in WA.
Recfishwest is a keen supporter of local fishing events such as this – they are a great day out and give kids the opportunity to learn to fish in a safe, accessible and fun environment, bringing benefits to the participants and the local community alike.
Recfishwest was once again proud to provide the Kalbarri Offshore and Angling Club with a Recfishwest Community Grant to assist with the costs of running this event.
Applications for the latest round of the Recfishwest Community Grant Program are currently open, so if you’ve got a fishing-related community project you think might be eligible – now is the time to apply!
The Kids’ Whiting Comp, takes place in Kalbarri, in the October school holidays, on two consecutive Thursdays, on the picturesque Chinaman’s beach, near the town centre.
Families arrive in Kalbarri, often a few days before, setting up camp or booking into a hotel, checking out the attractions on bikes, boat or on foot, as they spend quality family time together over the holidays.
“This event has been running for more than 30 years, it’s a really good community event. We’ve got families that come here on these school holidays because of this whiting comp and they’ve been coming for years,” says the club’s President, Cheryl Eley.
“Applying for a community grant to get this event up and running is really no hurdle. It’s all volunteer-led, so the Community Grant we receive from Recfishwest eases the financial burden. We use the funds to buy equipment and prizes for the kids.
“Any funds raised from the event itself are then used to improve fishing facilities in the town. We’ve improved the boat ramp, the fish filleting stations and the floating jetty and we’re always driving to improve facilities for rec fishers. It’s good to see our licence fee money being put back into the community.”
Once caught the fish are taken to the the weigh-in station, where their weight is recorded, before they are placed in the live tank for viewing.
All species have a place on the scoreboard, with a wide variety of fish species being caught including whiting, bream, flathead, flounder and the odd blue swimmer crab – there was even an estuary cod caught this year. All fish are released at the end of the comp.
And what better way than through a catch and release event to introduce your kids to fishing? The kids get to learn how to measure and weigh the fish, as well as learning about fishing for the future.
Given the strong community spirit tapped by the event, everyone wants to chip in, including kids that are now too old for the competition eagerly volunteering their time to help run the event each year. Local businesses donate some of the prizes including clothing, fishing equipment and vouchers for the whole family to enjoy as well as donations for the sausage sizzle.
Clearly, the whiting comp is in the very fabric of the Kalbarri community and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event.