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Wednesday 19 August 2009 | Published in Regional


Monday 17: The Cook Islands Game Fishing Club hosted the Aitutaki Fishing Club for the 13th annual Gary Parlour paara competition which was hosted by the local club last weekend.

The competition’s major sponsor, Gary Parlour, and his wife Kate and family returned once again to the Cook Islands to support, what has now become the game fishing club’s premier competition.

Other major sponsors for this year were the Bond Store, who generously donated prizes for the aggregate weight section, B&M Wholesales, club patron Joe Vakatini, and LSG Sky Chef both contributing to the catering.

Club president Teariki Buckley welcomed over 20 members of the Aitutaki Fishing Club on Thursday evening with several more arriving on Saturday’s plane.

With a record of 23 local boats registering for the competition, the Aitutaki fishermen were able to select the boat and skipper of their choice.

The competition was held in excellent fishing conditions over Friday and Saturday.

Unfortunately the fish did not hold the same high level of enthusiasm as the anglers and the catches weighed in were disappointing for many anglers, with several boats unable to land a single fish.

The main section of the competition is for the heaviest paara landed and any angler who landed the heaviest paara that weighed in over 30kg earned the skipper a bonus of $1000.

Anglers also competed for the highest aggregate weight of fish landed and the heaviest fish in the categories of yellow fin tuna, ono, maimai, trevally and others.

Gary and his wife Kate generously donated a rod and reel for the heaviest paara, fishing gear for the second and third heaviest and another rod and reel for a ‘mystery’ weight paara.

The major sponsor for the aggregate weight section was the Bond Liquor Store – donating prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places – and B & M Wholesalers also sponsoring a pedestal fan for the 2nd prize. Cash prizes from the boat registration fees and from the club were up for grabs for the 1st and 2nd places in the other species categories.

Richard Barltrop, fishing from his boat Bonito, weighed in a 25.2kg and a 15.8kg paara on Friday with the only other paara being a 19.4 kg fish caught by Ngu Marsters in Fast Forward on Saturday morning.

Some good size maimai were landed by Trader Don, Seafari and Bobi Marie with some of the other boats managing to land smaller tuna, ono, trevally and varu.

It turned out to be a great competition for Richard who won prizes for the heaviest paara, the third heaviest, the mystery weight paara, and also winning first place in the aggregate weight section and the ono section.

More importantly, Richard, with his 25.8 kg paara, retained the coveted Gary Parlour trophy for the Cook Islands Game Fishing Club.

Hard luck to all our Aitutaki anglers, who unfortunately picked the wrong boats this year to go out in.

However, Clive Baxter, president of the Aitutaki Fishing Club, said in his closing speech that Aitutaki will turn on much better fishing for the Rarotonga anglers when they come over next year and will make every effort to ensure that Aitutaki Club takes back the trophy!

- Peter Etches/Deputy