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Thrills and spills at Atiu fishing comp

Thursday 8 December 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Fishing, Local, National, Sports

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There were plenty of thrills and spills at Atiu Fishing Club’s inaugural five-day ocean fishing competition which saw 11 boats competing.

The launching of fishing boats at Atiu’s Taunganui harbour was the highlight of the Super Brown sponsored competition which ran from November 28 to December 2.

Atiu’s Fishing Club coordinator, Takili Talagi-Tairi said: “Our harbour is not like Raro’s, it takes some skill to get your boat in and out, and the boats cannot stay in the harbour overnight.”

Onlookers were amused at the “drama” of getting the boats in and out of the harbour each day and the “traffic jam” of trucks and boat waiting their turn, Talagi-Tairi said.

Some boats took off as soon as they hit the water and some without all their crew and fishing equipment, so the next boat going out would deliver the “forgotten” tools.

And more people would turn up to the harbour each day to watch all the interesting drama unfolding of launching the boats in the harbour.

“In Atiu the hardest part of fishing is actually getting the boat in and out of the harbour,” explained Talagi-Tairi.

Normally five to seven boats take part in a competition and having 11 boats and over 30 anglers competing was great, he added.

The decision to spread the event over five days was to give the fishermen and people interested in fishing adequate time to compete given the weather forecasts during the week.

“This event was organised to suit us and our conditions here,” said Talagi-Tairi.

“We took into consideration those who have animals to feed and plantations to tend to everyday before going out fishing… it’s not like Raro where you just go to the supermarket to buy whatever you like, so five days was good.”

Talagi-Tairi said interested participants without boats were assigned to vessels owned by others giving them the opportunity to fish.

“We want to encourage more of our youth to participate in our fishing competitions next year. It was good to see Papa Maki Kapao (oldest fisherman) and young children participate in this event.

“Anyone can fish if you put your mind to it,” said Talagi-Tairi.

The prizegiving was held at Taunganui Harbour with the presentation by the new secretary of the club Adrian Teiotu, who also acted as weighmaster being the marine officer on the island.

On behalf of the club, Talagi-Tairi would like to convey “a big meitaki ranuinui” to Super Brown and the Cook Islands Game Fishing Club for their sponsorship and support.

Atiu’s next fishing competition is the Mama’s Reef Fishing in January next year and a kid’s fishing tournament will be scheduled sometimes early next year.

Results

The winner of the 2022 Super Brown Atiu Fishing Club Ocean competition Vaine Patukura went home with $500 cash and the trophy. Heaviest Aggregate: 1st Boat Vaha with 292.45kgs, skippered by Takili Tairi; 2nd  Boat Marino’s Love with 176.95kgs, skippered by Tuaine Rakei; 3rd Boat Te-Vine Mou with 138.5kgs skippered by Tangata Matauti. Heaviest Fish - 1st Boat Teremoana II - 17.15kg, skippered by Vaine Patukura; 2nd  Boat Vaha - 17.10kg, skippered by Takili Tairi; 3rd  Boat Te-Vine Mou - 16kg, skippered by Tangata Matauti. Special prizes: Oldest fisherman Papa Maki Kapao, Young fisherman - Rairi Jim, Jethro Tanga, Tapaha Tairi, Apii Saddam Tatuava, Kerekere Samuel; Consolation prizes - Te-Hani crew, Peckham Crew, Te Aroa crew, Moana Urirau crew, Mapumai II crew, Dan & Casey crew, Maimai.com crew. The Atiu Fishing Club executive committee are: president Tutoru Tearai, secretary Adrian Teiotu, treasurer Minna Paratainga, project coordinator Takili Talagi-Tairi, media Maui Matakino, committee members - Joshua Jim (Areora), Metua Rouru (Teenui), Tuaine Rakei (Ngatiarua), Rangi Tutaka (Tengatangi), Vaine Patukura (Mapumai).