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Taking children ‘out of their comfort zone’ to fish

Monday 16 January 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Taking children ‘out of their comfort zone’ to fish
Six-year-old Masy Mustonen-Tairi was stoked with his catch in the Kids Reef Fishing competition which was held on Saturday. 23011504 / MELINA ETCHES

Around 100 kids accompanied by their patient parents and adult family members congregated at the beach in Tupapa on Saturday for the annual Cook Islands Game Fishing Club (CIGFC) Tamariki (kids) Fishing Competition.

One hundred and twenty six kids had registered for the takiri (bamboo or stick) fishing competition.

Kids fished on the reef and near the shore with some choosing to give up their bamboo rods, to play and enjoy the seawater instead.

Nine-year-old William Aviu was chuffed with his catch of two fish.

His mother Keren Aviu said “he wasn’t too keen initially, but ended up enjoying himself … his favourite part was catching his first fish, he was so excited, happy and proud”.

The fishing competition “was out of my kids comfort zone” so in the morning Keren had to do a little pep talk about the event.

“(It was) about how there would be lots of other children there who had never fished before and that it’d be a fun way to learn so they could try it again in their own time.

“The kids also were super excited when they realised they get to keep their takiri (bamboo rods) to take home too.”

The patuki (grouper) species of fish – a popular reef fish amongst locals – was the most caught on the day with 165 brought in to be weighed.

Results for the fishing competition are as follows. Most Fish Caught (Girls) - Poko Tatuava - 15 patuki $100; Most Fish Caught (Boys) Atira Maurangi - 13 x patuki $100; Aggregate (Girls) 1st Lasini Vaomotou - 12 x patuki $150, 2nd Poko Tatuava -15 x patuki $100; 3rd Raera Richard - 7 x tatai $50; Aggregate (Boys) 1st Ari Mustonen-Tairi $150, 2nd Corban Teinaki $100, 3rd TJ Metua $50; Heaviest Fish (Girls) 1st Peia Tatuava $150, 2nd Angela Samuela $100, 3rd Lasini Vaomotou $50; Heaviest Fish (Boys) 1st Richie Toa $150, 2nd Kaino Gribble $100, 3rd Corban Teinaki $50.