We’ve all gone fishing

Hundreds of ‘gone fishing’ signs might be hung on the door handles of many Tauranga homes for the next four days, as about 400 anglers head to the waters for the annual One Base Fishing Tournament.

Boats were released from the Tauranga Harbour entrance on Wednesday for the four-day tournament hosted by Tauranga Sports Fishing Club.

Anglers will search the seas as far as Whitianga and East Cape for the biggest fish they can find in a bid to claim fishing glory and be in to win thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes from furniture suites to chilly bins, barbecues, TVs and power tools.

Event organiser Roly Bagshaw says during the competition anglers can communicate through a radio channel called Tauranga Game Base.

“They’ll be calling in and letting us know what they’ve caught – and we’ll hopefully see the odd fish back at the weigh station.”

Roly says there’s a big emphasis on tag and release, which means most of the fish caught will be released.

“There’ll be the odd one that we hang up, which draws a good audience, but not every fish needs to be taken.

“A lot of the guys choose to tag fish so all the data can be stored by Ministry of Fisheries and over time we can build a picture of how the fish migrate and see how fast they grow etc.”

The tournament encourages anglers to reel in the pelagic fish species such as marlin and tuna. Roly calls those the ‘glamour species’.

“This time of year we’ve also got things like mahi mahi, spearfish and those sorts of species that have arrived here in the warmer water in summer.

A measure and release section is in place for snapper and Kingfish, which Roly says presents people with “incentives to release nice fish, only taking a photo”.

“It’s up to them if they choose to release those fish or to bring them home. The idea is if there’s a big Kingfish or snapper taken, there’s a good chance that’ll take out the weigh section – we can communicate that to all the guys and all the fish after that can be released.”

Anyone can fish in this tournament, although Roly says these days it does have a waiting list and you must be a member of a club.

“However it tends to attract people who are a bit more serious about their fishing.”

“It’s a four-day event so obviously you need a bit of endurance.

We’ve got some really keen juniors and plenty of women, who are just as keen as the guys and tend to show them up from time to time.”

Roly says the One Base fishing competition is an iconic tournament that been hosted by Tauranga Sport Fishing Club for many years.

“We’ve had some really great fish caught and released. Last year we had a great run of blue marlin, I think about four of those weighed more than 200kg.”

But Roly says what keeps people coming back is the competition’s change in nature from being open to thousands of anglers to about 400 entries.

“It’s got a wonderful local club feel, there’s a real sense of camaraderie.”

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