Tautuku club members beat best fishers in country

Jahllin Hotene (8), of Dunedin, admires a 4.2kg salmon, one of the largest caught during the...
Jahllin Hotene (8), of Dunedin, admires a 4.2kg salmon, one of the largest caught during the annual Otago Salmon Anglers’ Association fishing competition in Otago Harbour at the weekend. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Michael Todd, of Dunedin, with his 97.6kg mako shark, which helped the Tautuku Fishing Club win...
Michael Todd, of Dunedin, with his 97.6kg mako shark, which helped the Tautuku Fishing Club win the 2016 New Zealand Sport Fishing National Competition at the weekend. Photo supplied.

There will be no tall tales today about the big one that got away.

Dunedin fishers are officially the best in the country, and they have the awards - and the fish - to prove it.

The 2016 New Zealand Sport Fishing National Competition was held in fishing spots around the country from February 20-27, with 56 fishing clubs competing.

Dunedin's Tautuku Fishing Club won the top prize, the Varta Cup, yesterday, as well as the Shark Trophy, the New Zealand Shark Tagging Award (with a total of 78 tagged fish) and various line classes. Club president Brett Bensemann was delighted with the club's success.

‘‘Our local eco-system is plentiful with fish and their feed requirements. The sharks that were caught are used by Otago University for research purposes.

‘‘It's important to know the feeding patterns of these fish species for future decisions, and it also gives university students valuable educational experience.''

Fishing success continued yesterday afternoon during the weigh-in at the Otago Harbour Salmon Fishing competition.

The heaviest salmon caught weighed 9.5kg and was reeled in by Dave Taylor, of Mataura.

But Otago Salmon Anglers' Association president Colin Williams said the real success of the event was that entries increased from 280 last year to 325 this year, which meant about $6000 was raised toward the $26,000 cost of replenishing the salmon stocks in Otago Harbour this year.

‘‘It's an absolute success. Every little bit helps.''

Since thousands of quinnat salmon smolt were released into waterways near Dunedin in 1985, big salmon have been caught from harbour wharves.

Mr Williams said the harbour salmon fishery was restocked each year with about 30,000 smolt because it was not completely self sustaining.

 

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