More Top Stories

Rugby Union

Bigger and busier 2023: PM

31 December 2022

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

A reel deal: Participants get hooked on fun at Annual Reef Fishing Competition

Tuesday 31 October 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Features, Fishing, Sports, Weekend


A reel deal: Participants get hooked on fun at Annual Reef Fishing Competition
A happy young reef fisher shows off his catch. CIGFC/23102540

Despite unfavourable weather conditions, 74 participants took part in the popular Mama Reef Annual Bamboo Rod Fishing Competition held a week ago on Saturday, October 21.

The successful event, sponsored jointly by Federal Pacific Insurance, Cook Islands Tourism, and Cook Islands Game Fishing Club (CIGFC), who hosted the event, resulted in a total of 198 reef fish being caught, weighing a combined 16.82 kilograms.

In the Mama’s Heaviest Fish Category, Vaine “Mama” Aroita and her parrot fish weighing 247 grams tied with the patuki reeled in by Tuaine Gribble. Both women were awarded a cash prize of $250 and a bar card each.

Aroita, who has been participating in the annual reef competition for several years, showcased her bamboo rod skills once again.

Although the fishing conditions were rough, she was “happy” to get out and get fishing.

“It was a bit rough, but it was a good day. I’m happy with my prizes,” said Aroita.

Keen reef fisher Ashley Chaloner, who is one of the regulars at the annual competition, breezed home with the first place prizes in the Mama’s Heaviest Aggregate and the Mama’s Most Fish Caught categories.

Federal Pacific Insurance has sponsored the annual event since 2021, awarding cash prizes in the Heaviest Fish, Heaviest Aggregate, Most Fish Caught and Best Dressed categories.

Federal Pacific Insurance manager Eleanor Rivera said the event has always been great fun and it is a popular family event for the community.

“It is all about participation for the young and the not so young. And its vision aligns with our company initiative in giving back to our community,” Rivera said.

All the mamas, papas and tamariki (children) took extra care while out on the water and everyone had a “fantastic” day.

Rivera expressed that one of the highlights of the event is that everyone participating is required to dress like a woman, fitting in with the “Mama’s” theme.

To wrap up the event, the Cook Islands Game Fishing Club hosted the Mama’s mu’umu’u island wear and best ei katu competition that evening alongside a live band to entertain the participants and guests. The following women each received $20 and a bar card: Ei Katu - Mii Upu “Mrs Q”, Nukutere William, and Paula Paniani; Best Mu’umu’u - Tokoa Taringa, Roimata Katuke and Tai Katuke.

The Game Fishing Club and weighmaster for the event Julie Karika would like to thank the sponsors and everyone who participated in the fishing competition.

  • Melina Etches


Fish species weighed in: 173 patuki, 2 x pakeke, 5 x triggerfish, 15 x parrot, 2 x ku, 2 x eel.

Mama’s Heaviest Fish category: 1st equal Vaine “Mama” - parrot fish 247g and Tuaine Gribble - patuki 274g; 2nd Ashley Chaloner - paroko (surgeon fish) 206g - $100.00 cash and bar card; 3rd Tepou Teauiti -patuki 197g - $50 cash and bar card.

Mama’s Heaviest Aggregate category: 1st Ashley Chaloner - 40 fish 2999g - $150 and bar card; 2nd Vaine Aroita - 12 fish 726g, $100 and bar card; 3rd Tai Katuke - 11 fish 635g, $50 and bar card.

Mama’s Most Fish Caught category - Ashley Chaloner with 40 fish won $100 and bar card; Mama’s Best Dressed category - Alouise Atera who dressed up in a Ninja Turtle Raphael costume taking home $50 and bar card.

Papa’s Heaviest Fish category: 1st Tutai William - trigger fish 298g, 2nd Vini Richard - pakeke 190g, Moetu Tangitamaiti - patuki 185g.

Papa’s Heaviest Aggregate category: 1st Moetu Tangitamaiti - 14 fish 1352g; 2nd Pinky Teva - 17 fish 1072g; 3rd Suk Song - 10 fish 752g.

Papa’s Most Fish Caught category - Pinky Teva weighed in 17 fish; Papa’s Best Dressed category - Christian Viniki.

Tamariki Heaviest Fish category: 1st Raera Richard - pakeke 250g; 2nd Repaio William - patuki 170g; 3rd Amosa Mato - patuki 116g.

Tamariki Heaviest Aggregate category: 1st Repaio William - 11 fish  692g; 2nd Raera Richard - 4 fish 344g; 3rd Amosa Mato - 3 fish 113g.

Tamariki Most Fish Caught category - Repaio William caught 11 Fish winning $50; Tamariki Best Dressed category - Ritchie Nga and Amosa Mato shared $50.