The annual Take a Kid Fishing day has snuck around the corner very quickly, as it seemed like not so long ago that Swan Boat Hire staff were spending some quality time mentoring our future anglers at the SunCoast Barra in May last year.
Take a Kid Fishing day has been an annual event for over 4 years after the Queensland Government assigned specific funding towards hosting an angler education event under the Lifestyle Fishing Program. However, Sunfish has been coordinating clinics and information sessions for young anglers for nearly thirty years. Thirty events have been spread statewide for the 2009 program, from the Gold Coast up to Mount Isa with places like Warwick and Ipswich holding freshwater events. Sunfish has confirmed that state government funding will make it possible for the program to be extended for the next three years.
2009's Take a Kid Fishing day was bigger and better than ever, with many events hosted by local bait and tackle stores along the coastline from Caloundra to Noosa. Each event had a kitty of sample bags provided by SunFish to give away as well as a variety of prizes for attendants. The sample bags were bursting with goodies including a fishing DVD, suncream, the 2009 tide book, a poptop drink bottle, lots of brochures with information on fish identification and legal limits, and fishing magazines to read.
Davo's Bait and Tackle hosted an action-packed day in the Noosa area. Over 35 anglers visited Davo's on Sunday 26th April too begin the day. Here the young anglers were encouraged to bring in their rods and reels for a tune up, untangling and re-rigging. Davo's staff handed out sample bags and demonstrated to each angler the features and techniques for use with their rod, they were then sent to a good fishing spot on the river to wet a line. Plenty of bream and whiting were caught and brought back for measurement. Davo's Cheryl Lacey reported that the day was a huge success for angler education and it was very encouraging to see many first-time anglers showing interest in the sport. Davo's also handed out four $50 tackle vouchers to lucky local anglers drawn randomly from those who registered.
In Maroochydore, the event was held also on Sunday 26th April at the SunCoast Barra Park for the second year running. The Barra Park on David Low Way is an excellent location with a healthy attendance rate of 40 young anglers who registered early on who also brought parents and grandparents along. Swan Boat Hire and SunCoast Barra Park staff had demonstrations on correct rigging and care of your fishing gear, how to measure your catch and landing your fish methods.
The mixed catch from the three ponds within the Barramundi Park included bream, flathead and plenty of barramundi to go around. Sample bags were given out to every child attending and Swan Boat Hire also donated 4 Estuary Rod and Reel combos, 12 kayak hires, 2 Runabout boat hires, lures and a variety of flathead and bream tackle packs as lucky draw prizes. As usual every child received a prize and the day was topped off with a free sausage sizzle to warm the insides. Dave from SunCoast Barra Park was very impressed at the turn out this year and commented on how positive it was to see three generations in many families at the event. He also reported that the numbers of catch and release barramundi were very impressive this year.
The Caloundra Power Boat Fishing Club reported a new record for Caloundra's Take A Kid Fishing Day this year. After last year's roll up of seventy-eight kids, the fishing club set themselves a target of attracting one hundred kids to come and enjoy a morning learning a little about our marine life and environment. When the first parents arrived at 7.15am with their kids to register, they knew they were in for a big day. By 11am they had registered one hundred and thirty-four kids, who also brought with their parents and grand parents, making the Esplanade at Golden Beach look quite impressive with in excess of four hundred people fishing and relaxing.
By midday the young anglers had caught many good size whiting, bream and one particularly great size sand crab. The fishing club provided a sausage sizzle and cold drinks which proved very popular, with all three hundred sausages eaten before the prize presentations. Not only did anglers receive their sample bag, but thirty-two prizes varying from fishing rod and reel combos, tackle boxes with tackle, sponsors vouchers, books, tackle packages and tackle packs were handed out. These prizes were all donated from local supporters including The Australian Fishing Tackle Association, The Caloundra Power Boat Club, Caloundra Fishing World, Bills Boat & Bike Hire, Book City Caloundra, and the Caloundra Power Boat Fishing Club
Two DPI & F officers, Robbie and Ashleigh, came along for the day and spent time on the beach talking with the kids and parents explaining some of the new fishing and bag limit rules and stayed well after the presentations, mixing with the people answering many questions. Deputy Mayor and Division 3 Councillor, Tim Dwyer congratulated the Caloundra Power Boat Fishing Club on its involvement in promoting fishing as a great family day out.
Caloundra Powerboat Club president Barry Purcell reported that a brilliant day was had by all and he applauded the efforts from the twenty-eight fishing club members who gave of their time on the day pumping well in excess of one thousand yabbies (not a single one left over), walking the beach giving well received advice, cooking the sausages, registering the eager kids, taking some great photos, measuring the fish and many other little jobs. All agreed the day was an undoubted rewarding experience and will definitely be part of next year's Take a Kid Fishing Day promotion.
As you can see, Take a Kid Fishing Day 2009 was a well planned, positive day all over the Sunshine Coast. Without the support of local fishing clubs and tackle stores, this wonderful day would not be possible. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for next year's event which will most likely be in May. And don't forget to fish for the future and only keep what you need!
Noosa: Bream, big tarwhine, whiting and dart between North Shore's first cutting and Teewah. Chopper tailor and trevally in the lower reaches and near the Sheraton. Plenty of bream in the lower reaches. Bream and flathead in Weyba Creek and off Munna Point. Still mud crabs getting potted throughout the lower reaches.
Maroochydore: Dart and tarwhine between Marcoola and Mudjimba beaches. Good bream at night upstream from the Cod Hole and plenty of average bream off Chambers Island and the jetty near Duporth tavern. Whiting and a few flathead around Twin Waters weir and Godfreys Rd. Good mud crabs in the creeks.
Kawana: Plenty of dart along Wurtulla and Kawana beaches. Bream and trevally off the rock walls at the bar. Reports of gar and the odd blue swimmer in the sand basin. Whiting and flathead along La Balsa Park. Mud crabs in Kawana Waters and Mooloolah river stretch.
Caloundra: Bream, trevally and flathead along the Boardwalk and near the Power Boat Club. Sand whiting in teh surf along Bribie and towards "The Skids". Mangrove jack and estuary cod in Pelican Waters Canals and mud crabs in the creeks.
Alec, Lachlan and Travis with 2 barramundi at the Maroochydore TAKF day.
Brandon Rich was thrilled with this 3kg barramundi caught at TAKF day.
The results of a good morning of fishing at Caloundra, young anglers proudly show off their catches from TAKF day.
Golden Beach foreshore was scattered with eager anglers all taking part in Take a Kid Fishing day at Caloundra.
Jack McLennan displaying a nice bream caught in the mixed species pond at SunCoast Barra Park on TAKF day 2009.
Mates Angus and Jack show off their flathead from Munna Point, caught after spending time at Davo's for TAKF day.
Young Marley Steiner headed to Noosa's North Shore for TAKF day and caught this quality whiting.