Recfishwest and the Pilbara community of Point Samson joined forces for the Easter long weekend to assist the Point Samson Community Association (PSCA) with their first and very successful Junior Fishing Competition.
It was a three day “Catch, Click and Release” event, promoting safe and sustainable family fishing. The small event drew fishers in from as far away as Dampier and Port Hedland, swelling the small community from 300 to over an impressive 500!
Recfishwest held free fishing clinics on Good Friday and Easter Saturday at the town beach to encourage interest in the competition and be the source of any information kids and families needed to answer their fishing questions for the weekend. The clinics covered fishing and environment, safety, catch care, gear handling, casting skills and of course the SunSmart principals of Slip, Slop, Slap, Slide and Seek.
Both clinics were very well attended and the majority of participants were registered to fish in the weekend competition. After the all-important introduction, demonstration and safety talk, kids and families headed to the water to try out some of the casting techniques they had just learned and caught a variety of local species including Garfish, Trevally, Flathead and the very toothy Long Tom.
The competition kicked off early Saturday with over 90 junior entrants (6-16 years) collecting their registration packs from The Cove Caravan park. Rego packs included PSCA back sack, bucket hat and water bottle, a Halco lure, current Fisheries ruler sticker and a hook-out; the hook remover tool.
The morning of Easter Sunday, earlier than expected, an influx of keen families descended on the Community Hall and parkland before the official 11am kick-off time. The PSCA had organised food trucks, local groups fundraising with food stalls, bouncing castle and an Easter egg hunt.
The pressure was on for the judges to tally the competition results. Over 50 photos of an amazing variety of fish and shellfish were sorted through, debated on and organised into categories. Finally at half past midday the results were in. Of the 20 awesome prize packs up for grabs, only three categories went unclaimed. Among the notables were “most unusual catch”, a clam – “mystery fish” a dark surgeon and the extremely cheeky April fool’s joke entrant of very large deep sea arrow squid; turned out to be the bait that a young competitor had purchased to catch his quarry, to no avail, so decided to play the April first card on the judges!
The prize pool included fishing rods, tackle packs and junior fishing gear bundles all generously supplied by event supporters Shimano, Halco Lures, local business Tidal Solutions Pty Ltd, NYFL (Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation Ltd) and the PSCA.
As the young winners celebrated and examined their loot, the afternoon activities were set up on the grass. Locals were not particularly phased and
many joined in, but the combination of lots of chocolate and Pilbara heat kept a number of kids away from the casting skills game and the tug-of-war. Many chose to divide their time between swimming at the beach and the bouncing castle or in the shade of the playground or park.
This event was an amazing success for the PSCA and without the support from City of Karratha, local Woolworths, Rio Tinto, not to mention the vast number of volunteer hours put in by PSCA president and committee members, staff at The Cove Caravan Park and all the other community volunteers.
We hope to continue to support this event into the future and look forward to more opportunities like this in the Pilbara.
If you and your community group, would like to see our fishing clinic program visit you, please contact our fishing clinic coordinator Kate, to get the local kids off the couch and into fishing.
The Recfishwest Statewide Family Fishing Clinics are made possible by the funding support of Healthway and Getaway Outdoors, and other contributing partners.